Karnataka speaker colluded with CM: Governor

Karnataka speaker colluded with CM: Governor

"The speaker in collusion with the chief minister had distorted the character and composition of the state legislative assembly for extraneous reasons October 10, 2010 by disqualifying 16 legislators just before the crucial floor test the following day (October 11)," the governor said in a communiqué to the media.

The 16 legislators included 11 from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and five independents.

The governor justified recommending president’s rule by invoking Article 356 (1) of the constitution, as there was a breakdown of the constitutional mechanism on the day the confidence motion was taken up in the assembly Oct 11.

"The intervention under Article 356 (1) of the Constitution of India (recommending president’s rule) is not limited to a situation of government losing its majority in the assembly.

"The intervention is called for whenever there is breakdown of constitutional mechanism in the state. The breakdown of constitutional mechanism also can occur in several other ways,” the governor pointed out in the communiqué.

Article 356 allows the president to dismiss a state government on the advice of the governor of the concerned state or on his own if he/she is satisfied that the administration government of the state cannot be carried out according to the provisions of the Constitution.

"The actions of distorting the character of the assembly were resorted to by the chief minister and the speaker, as noted by the Supreme Court in its (May 13) judgment, to enable the floor test to succeed," Bhardwaj asserted.

A division bench of the apex court headed by Justice Altamus Kabir and Cyriac Joseph May 13 restored the membership of the 16 lawmakers by setting aside the disqualification order of the speaker.

The governor said the division bench held, among other things, that extraneous considerations were writ large on the face of the order of the speaker and the same had to be set aside.

"Unless it was to ensure that the trust vote did not go against the chief minister, there was no conceivable reason for the speaker to have taken up the disqualification application in such a great hurry," the judgment said.

Bhardwaj said he had recommended president’s rule on the grounds that the government had lost the majority though an impression was being created in the minds of the public that the government enjoyed majority support.

"However in the instant case, though the origins of the breakdown can be traced to the question of support enjoyed by the government, the actual breakdown is due to tampering with the composition of the legislative assembly in unconstitutional manner,” he pointed out.

Though the governor held the same view even Oct 11, 2010, the issue of disqualification remained sub-judice till the Supreme Court delivered its judgment May 13.