Karnataka Crisis: Supreme Court pulls up Speaker for sitting on rebel MLAs’ resignations, reminds him of ‘constitutional duty’

New Delhi: The Karnataka drama reached the doors of the Supreme Court today where the court is examining “weighty” constitutional issues in the resignation and disqualification of rebel MLAs of the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition. The apex court, which was dealing with the plea of 10 rebel MLAs on July 12, will now hear more lawmakers who have sought identical relief that Karnataka Assembly speaker KR Ramesh Kumar accept their resignations as well.

The MLAs 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 bench allowed senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi who mentioned the matter for all the MLAs to amend the petition for expanding the grounds in support of their stand to resign. The apex court on July 12 had asked the speaker to maintain status quo on the issue. 

The resignations of these MLAs has plunged the HD Kumaraswamy government in Karnataka into a crisis as it faces the risk of losing majority in the Assembly. Apart from the question of maintainability of the writ petition filed under Article 32 of the Constitution by the MLAs, the Supreme Court had said it needs to address as to whether the speaker is obligated to decide on the disqualification proceedings before accepting the resignation of legislators.

The counsel for the rebels MLAs had contended that the speaker has not decided on the resignation of the lawmakers to bind them with the party whip and disqualify them from the membership if they violate the whip on the floor of the House.