Floor test: SC hearing on Independents’ plea on Tuesday

Floor test: SC hearing on Independents’ plea on Tuesday

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Monday declined to hear during the day the plea by R Shankar and H Nagesh. (Reuters File Photo)

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear urgently a plea by Independent MLAs for direction to Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar to conduct the floor test forthwith on July 22, saying it was impossible to take up the matter “today itself”.

A bench presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, “We may consider for listing the writ petition on Tuesday.” By the evening, the joint writ petition filed by R Shankar and H Nagesh was posted for hearing on Tuesday, July 23.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi mentioned the matter on behalf two Independent MLAs. He said the floor test was being delayed deliberately on one pretext or another. He said the matter could be heard on Monday itself as the last item.

“It is impossible to hear it today. We will see tomorrow,” the CJI said.

Two Independent MLAs sought a direction to Kumaraswamy to conduct the floor test forthwith before 5 pm on July 22.

Shankar and H Nagesh, who withdrew from JD(S)-Congress coalition government, contended that the ruling dispensation which has lost its majority, was adopting various dilatory tactics to avoid the trust vote and indulge in horse trading and defections from the BJP.

Earlier on Saturday, Kumaraswamy and KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao also approached the court for clarification on the July 17 order that the rebel MLAs cannot be compelled to attend the Assembly session.

The writ petition by the MLAs invoked extraordinary jurisdiction of the top court under Article 142 to seek a direction for conducting the floor test on and before 5 pm on Monday.

On Monday, an advocate Lily Thomas sought to mention newspaper reports before the CJI-led bench to prevent horse-trading and defections but the court declined to consider her plea.