Supreme Court orders floor test in Karnataka assembly on Saturday – Press24 News

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday ordered that floor test in the Karnataka assembly be held at 4 pm on Saturday.

A bench of justices A K Sikri, S A Bobde and Ashok Bhushan was listening to a writ petition filed by the Congress-JD(S) regarding Governor Vajubhai Vala’s invitation to the BJP to form government in Karnataka.

“It is better to hold floor test on Saturday and not give any time to anyone rather than go into legality of Governor’s decision to invite B S Yeddyurappa,” the bench said during proceedings.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for newly-crowned chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, opposed the court’s proposed day and asked it to set a more reasonable date for the floor test. The SC cited past precedents fixing such time period for floor test.

Soon after proceedings began at 10.30am, Rohatgi handed over two letters stating that Yeddyurappa has been elected as leader of BJP, the largest party in the Karantaka assembly, and that he has the support of necessary number of MLAs.

Rohatgi added that there was no need for Yeddyurappa to give names of all MLAs to the governor as he is ready to prove majority on the floor of the House. He revealed that BJP would receive support from legislators belonging to Congress and JDS a and the letters written by Congress-JD(S) does not show signs of each and every MLA declaring its support to the post-poll alliance.

“I have instruction from several MLAs from other side that they have not given written support to Cong-JDS combine. I don’t want to say anything more at this stage,” Rohatgi said.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the Congress, asked the court to decide which party should get the chance to prove majority first. He asserted that Congress-JD(S) is ready for a floor test on Saturday, without any delay.

He went on to say that there should be videography and proper security provided to legislators so they may vote fearlessly. SC said it will order DGP to make proper arrangements for floor test on Saturday.

The apex court questioned the rationale behind governor’s Vajubhai Vala’s decision to invite the BJP to form the government when the Congress-JD(S) had the majority strength.

“On what basis the governor decides who can provide stable government on the face of a claim of majority support by single largest party and on the other a written support of majority to Congress-JD(S)? No doubt it is ultimately a number game and governor is to see which party commands majority support,” said the bench.

SC barred the governor from nominating any Anglo-Indian community member as MLA till the floor test is over. It asked the Yeddyurappa government to refrain from taking any major policy decision till the floor test is concluded. The court directed the DGP to take all measures to keep things under control outside the assembly so the floor test is conducted smoothly inside the House.

Senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, counsel to JD(S) Karnataka unit chief H D Kumaraswamy, sought a division of benches in the assembly and the appointment of a protem speaker.

In a historic pre-dawn hearing on Thursday, the
Supreme
Court refused the Congress-JD(S) challenge to the governor’s invite to form the government and cleared the way for B S Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in as the chief minister of Karnataka.

During the high-voltage hearing, which lasted from 2.11 AM to 5.28 AM, the top court made it clear that the swearing-in and government formation would be subject to the final outcome of the case.

Hours after the apex court’s ruling, the Lingayat leader took the oath of office and secrecy at 9am at a simple ceremony in the Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru.

(With PTI inputs)

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