Disqualification, resignation of rebel MLAs: Speaker to decide by tomorrow

Disqualification, resignation of rebel MLAs: Speaker to decide by tomorrow

July 16, 2019

MLA Roshan Baig detained at Bengaluru Airport

New Delhi: It is a crucial day for Karnataka Government as a Supreme Court Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi this morning began hearing the petition by 15 rebel MLAs of ruling Congress-JD(S), seeking action against Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar for deliberating delaying acceptance of their resignations.

On July 12, the Apex Court had heard the plea of 10 rebel MLAs and had decided to examine “weighty” Constitutional issues in the resignation and disqualification of the rebel MLAs on July 16 (today). The court yesterday allowed five other MLAs to club their petition with ongoing case. The SC on July 12 had asked the Speaker to maintain status quo on the issue.

During the hearing, Speaker — at the centre of the political crisis — sought time till tomorrow (July 17) to decide on the disqualification and resignation of the rebel MLAs. 

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the Speaker, requested the Court to modify its earlier order directing him to maintain status quo on the matter. 

Singhvi submitted before the Court that nobody is saying that Speakers are not fallible but he cannot be asked to decide the matter in a time-bound manner. 

The rebel MLAs told the Court that the Speaker was coercing them to vote for the Kumaraswamy government by not accepting their resignations. The coalition is in minority and the Speaker has “no option but to accept the resignations,” the lawmakers said. 

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the rebel MLAs, told the Court that the Speaker has to only see if the resignation is voluntary or not. Rohatgi told the Court that the 10 MLAs resigned on July 6 and disqualification proceedings against two lawmakers were pending.

 “When was the disqualification proceedings filed against rest eight MLAs,” the Top Court asked, to which Rohatgi responded that disqualification proceedings started against them on July 10.

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Disqualification proceeding is mini-trial under the Constitution’s 10th Schedule, Rohatgi said, adding that resignation is different and its acceptance is based on single criterion — it is voluntary or not. There is nothing to show the rebel MLAs conspired with BJP, the senior advocate said.

The Court was hearing the case till we went to Press.

 SIT detains MLA Roshan Baig:In another development, the Special Investigation Team probing the I Monetary Advisory (IMA) scam detained Shivajinagar MLA Roshan Baig late yesterday while he was trying to leave Bengaluru and was allegedly on his way to Mumbai.

According to Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, Roshan Baig was being ushered into a private chartered aircraft last night when sleuths nabbed him at Kempegowda International Airport. Roshan Baig was allegedly being ushered into the aircraft by BJP State President B.S. Yeddyurappa’s PA N.R. Santosh when the SIT nabbed him. 

“Baig was detained for questioning at the Kempegowda International Airport when he was about to take off in a private aircraft to an unconfirmed destination from Bengaluru,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) B.R. Ravikanthe Gowda said in a statement. 


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