The legal battle with respect to Karnataka assembly is far from over as Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) filed applications on Friday seeking a clarification that the July 17 order of the Supreme Court granting liberty to the rebel MLAs of Karnataka assembly to skip the House will not apply to party whips issued as per Schedule 10 of the Constitution.
The applications filed by Dinesh Gundu Rao, the President of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee and Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy state that any interpretation of the SC order which dilutes the power of a political party to issue a whip to its legislators would be against the spirit of the provisions of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution.
The order was passed on Wednesday by a bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justices Deepak Gupta Bose and Aniruddha Bose in a plea by fifteen rebel MLAs of Congress-JD(S) seeking a direction to the Speaker to accept their resignations.
While the Court refrained from fixing any time limit for the Speaker to decide on the resignations, it held that the MLAs were at liberty to opt out of the House.
"We also make it clear that until further orders, the 15 members of Assembly ought not to be compelled to participate in the proceedings of the ongoing session of the House and an option should be given to them that they can take part in the said proceedings or to opt to remain out of the same", ordered the Court.
Apprehending that this order might be interpreted as enabling the dissident legislators to defy any party whip issued to attend the house, the applications state :
"It is submitted that under the Tenth Schedule a political party has a constitutional right to issue a whip to its legislators. The exercise of this right under the Constitution is not circumscribed by any condition nor can it be subject to any restrictive orders from the Court even prior to the issuance of the whip. More importantly, any enquiry for the purposes of the Tenth Schedule is a proceeding of the Legislature of the State within the meaning of Article 212 of the Constitution".
The applications mention that the 1992 Constitution Bench decision in Kihoto Holohan v Zachillhu had held that para 2(1)(b) of the Tenth Schedule laid down that para 2(1)(b) has to be made mandatorily applicable in cases of a confidence motion.
As per Clause 2(1)(b) of Schedule 10 of the Constitution, abstaining from voting in House contrary to any direction issued by the political party to which the legislator belongs to will cause disqualification on the ground of defection.
Therefore, the applications seek a clarification that the order does not does not refer to the rights of a political party to proceed under para 2(1)(b) of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution.
The trust vote did not take place on Thursday as initially scheduled. Though Governor Vajubhai Vala issued a direction to the Speaker to hold trust vote by 1.30 PM today, it was not followed. The Governor has given a further ultimatum to hold the trust vote by 6 PM today.
Chief Minister has said in his application that the 'Governor cannot dictate to the House the manner in which the debate of confidence motion has to be taken up'.
Click here to download the application by Congress
Click here to download the application by JD(S)
Read the application by Congress
Read the application by JD(S)