Supreme Court: The 3-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose, JJ has allowed 10 rebel MLAs of the Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka to meet the assembly Speaker at 6 pm to convey to him their decision to resign. The Court has asked Karnataka Assembly Speaker to decide on the resignation of the MLAs during the course of the day.
The bench said that the decision taken by the Speaker has to be intimated on July 12 when the court takes up the matter again. It directed the Karnataka DGP to provide protection to the 10 MLAs from Bengaluru airport to the assembly after their arrival from Mumbai.
At the outset, the Court made it clear that it was passing orders on the 10 MLAs who were before it and not the others.
The 10 rebel MLAs had moved Supreme Court alleging that the Karnataka Assembly Speaker was not accepting their resignations.
The MLAs who have filed the petition are Pratap Gouda Patil, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Byrati Basavaraj, B C Patil, S T Somashekhar, Arbail Shivaram Hebbar, Mahesh Kumathalli, K Gopalaiah, A H Vishwanath and Narayana Gowda.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the MLAs, submitted that there is a startling state of affairs in the Karnataka Assembly where 15 MLAs want to resign but the Speaker is not accepting their resignations.
He submitted that on July 6, when some rebel MLAs went to submit their resignations, the Speaker left his office through the back door.
Mukul Rohatgi also said one of the rebel MLAs was manhandled when he tried to reach the Speaker’s office on Wednesday.
He said the Karnataka Assembly will meet on July 12, but before that the ruling coalition has moved a disqualification application against the rebel MLAs.
“Instead of ordering for the floor test, attempt is made to disqualify the rebel MLAs. We want to resign and go to the public and seek re-election. … When the senior advocate said 15 MLAs have already tendered their resignation, the bench said “we will take note of only ten MLAs who are before us”.
As Rohatgi narrated the sequence of events from July 1, the bench orally observed “nothing surprises us“.