SC orders status quo on fate of rebel Karnataka MLAs

SC defers the matter to next week

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who appearing for the MLAs hailing from Congress and JD(S), contended the Speaker did not decide their resignations even after the apex court's direction. Reuters photo

The Supreme Court on Friday ordered status quo on the fate of 10 rebel MLAs from Karnataka, a day after directing the Speaker to decide on their resignations by Thursday.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose said that since weighty constitutional issues arose in the matter, the court would again hear the case on Tuesday, July 16.

The court deferred the matter after senior advocates A M Singhvi, Rajeev Dhavan and Devadatt Kamat, appearing for Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar and Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, objected to the joint writ petition filed by the 10 rebel MLAs led by Pratap Gouda Patil.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for the MLAs hailing from the Congress and the JD(S), contended that the Speaker did not decide on their resignations even after the apex court's direction.

He said the order can be issued to decide it by Monday. If the Speaker does not decide it, then contempt notice can be issued against him. Rohatgi also pointed out that the Speaker has accepted the resignation of one of the MLAs, even though disqualification proceedings were pending against him.

Singhvi, for the Speaker, read out the statement of Objects and Reasons of the Tenth Schedule to point out that he was constitutionally bound to decide about the disqualification proceedings first against the MLAs.

Rohatgi, during the hearing, said the disqualification notice has been returned against eight of the 10 MLAs.

The court, which also heard Dhavan on behalf of the CM, who objected to the writ petition, preferred to post the matter to next week.

The court's order directing status quo meant the Speaker would neither decide on resignations of the 10 MLAs nor would act on the disqualification proceedings preferred by their respective parties. 

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