Karnataka crisis LIVE: The Supreme Court hearing on pleas of 15 rebel MLAs of Congress and JDS seeking acceptance of their resignation began on Tuesday. Appearing on behalf of the rebel lawmakers, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi said that, “All 10 MLAs I represent here have submitted resignation in their own hand and personally communicated their decision to the Speaker.” Rohatgi also said that Umesh Jadhav resigned as MLA on March 20 and although his disqualification was also pending, Speaker accepted his resignation on April 1. He pointed that it isn't as if Speaker has always considered disqualification needs to be decided first.
During the ongoing hearing, the top court also took note of the dates when the MLAs resigned and when the disqualification petitions against them were filed. Stressing the rebel lawmakers’ point, Rohatgi asked, “Is there any evidence of a gun being pointed at their temple?When the MLAs appear before the Speaker, before the media, where is the question of more inquiry? Resignation can't be mixed with disqualification, When we don't want to attend the assembly, can we forced?" “This (disqualification proceedings) is nothing but an attempt to stutter the resignations,” Rohatgi further said.
The apex court, which is dealing with the plea of 10 rebel MLAs on July 12, will also hear five more lawmakers who have sought identical relief that Karnataka Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar accept their resignations as well. The five MLAs -- Anand Singh, K Sudhakar, N Nagaraj, Munirathna and Roshan Baig -- mentioned their application before a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta Monday seeking impleadment as parties to the pending plea on which it was ordered that the speaker would not take any decision till Tuesday on the resignations and disqualifications.
The top court had on Friday restrained the Speaker from taking any decision till July 16 on the resignation and disqualification of the rebel MLAs. The top court had said an incidental question that would arise in the matter is the kind and extent of the directions that should be issued by a constitutional court to another constitutional functionary, which in the present case happens to be the Speaker of the Assembly.