Congress slams SC order on Karnataka crisis

Congress slams SC order on Karnataka crisis

Congress on Wednesday slammed the Supreme Court order that allows rebel Karnataka legislators to stay away from the crucial assembly proceedings on Thursday to decide the fate of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in the state.

“The Supreme Court order nullifying the Whip and by extension, operation of Constitution’s Tenth Schedule to punish MLA’s betraying the public mandate, sets a terrible judicial precedent,” Congress chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said.

He said the blanket protection to MLA’s, who were driven not by ideology but by far baser concerns, was “unheard-of.”

Earlier, the apex Court ruled that the Speaker of the Karnataka assembly was free to decide on the status of the rebel legislators whose resignation has pushed the Congress-JD(S) government in the state to the brink.

The court also ruled that the rebel MLAs cannot be compelled to attend the proceedings in the state assembly, which effectively does not allow the government to issue a Whip to ensure presence of all the Congress-JD(S) legislators on Thursday when Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy would seek a trust vote.

Surjewala questioned whether the Court can interfere with the working of the State Legislature by deciding when a Whip will be enforced.

He wondered whether the SC order amounted to an abandonment of the ‘Basic Structure’ doctrine of Separation of Powers enshrined in the Constitution.

“Tragic that SC didn’t appreciate the context and designed history of defections to subvert democratic mandates by Modi government over last five years,” Surjewala said.

The Congress leader urged the apex court to recall its own judgement of May 2016 striking down the illegal attempt of BJP in Uttarakhand to form the government.