'Speaker Not Accepting Resignation': SC Agrees To Hear 10 Karnataka Rebel MLAs' Plea Tomorrow [Read Petition]

Amidst the political crisis in Karnataka, the Supreme Court agrees to hear on Thursday the plea of the rebel MLAs alleging that the Speaker has failed in his constitutional duty and is on purpose procrastinating the acceptance of their resignations.

The matter was mentioned before Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi by Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi and Advocate Shubhranshu Padhi on behalf of the rebel MLAs against the Karnataka Assembly Speaker.

The MLAs are claiming that Speaker Ramesh Kumar has abandoned his constitutional duty in unlawfully not accepting their resignations.

"The Hon'ble Speaker chose not to attend office till Tuesday, 9th July, 2019. On the said date, he appeared before the media and stated that the resignation of 8 MLAs were not in a proper format and asked 5 of them to be present before him on Friday 12th July"

In a counter offensive after 13 MLAs resigned Saturday dealing a blow to the 13-month-old government, a delegation of Congress leaders met Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar and submitted the petition seeking, under the anti-defection law, disqualification of the rebel legislators in line with the decision taken at a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) Tuesday.

The move comes a day after all the ministers in the Congress-JD(S) coalition government resigned, paving the way for a cabinet reshuffle to accommodate disgruntled. Even as the CLP took the decision to petition the speaker, party's Shivajinagar MLA R Roshan Baig, who was suspended recently for alleged anti-party activities, put in his papers.

"Acting in a concerted manner, the Congress party has filed a Petition before the Speaker seeking disqualification of the MLAs who have resigned. Needless to state, the disqualification proceedings are completely illegal and without any cause of action in as much as the MLAs had tendered their resignations itself to their membership".

The rebel MLAs, camping in Maharashtra, however, appeared undeterred by the Congress's disqualification move and said there was no question of them withdrawing their resignations.

The petitioner further allege that the Assembly Session is to begin from 12.7.19, i.e the same day that the MLA's have been asked to remain in person before the Speaker. The same in itself shows the intent of the Speaker to disqualify the Petitioners in a prejudged manner.

The whole Idea is to disqualify the Petitioners and under threat of disqualification allow the minority Govt. to function without the support of majority in the house. It is stated that the Petitioners have resigned voluntarily and without any fear.

The petitioners submitted that the Speaker ought to have appreciated that the Petitioners themselves had never raised any grievance whatsoever regarding the validity and/ or genuineness of their resignation thereby obviating the requirement of an enquiry in terms of Article 190 of the Constitution of India. Article 190(3) does not envisage a roving enquiry by the Speaker into the circumstances pertaining to a voluntary and genuine resignation by a Member of the House.

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