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Supreme Court to hear trust vote plea today

Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar adjourned the House till 10 am on Tuesday, hours after chief minister HD Kumaraswamy left the House.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Jul 23, 2019, 07.37 AM IST
On his part, governor VR Vala deputed officials to the assembly to report on the proceedings.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court refused to hear a plea filed by two independent MLAs seeking an immediate trust vote in Karnataka assembly but listed the petition for Tuesday.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi mentioned the petition filed by independent MLAs R Shankar and H Nagesh, who had earlier withdrawn support to the JDS-Congress government, before a bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Monday morning. CJI Gogoi refused an immediate hearing and said: “We shall see tomorrow.”

The assembly is in session and has been debating for the past few days a trust vote moved by chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, who has since been reduced to a minority in the House after 15 rebel MLAs resigned from Congress.

In their plea filed on Sunday, the two independent MLAs sought an immediate trust vote saying the government had been reduced to a minority but was delaying the exercise despite Governor Vajubhai Vala’s messages to the House under Article 175(2) of the Constitution asking for completion of vote of confidence.

The 15 rebels had initially moved the court against what they alleged was the Speaker’s refusal to accept their resignation. They had claimed that the Speaker had instead initiated disqualification proceedings against them under the Tenth Schedule. Any disqualification would bar them from holding ministerial berths in any alternative government that may take over unless they get re-elected. They insisted that they wanted to resign, not defect and go back to the electorate.

The Speaker on his part claimed that at no time had the rebels sought an appointment with him or met him. He contended that he was constitutionally obligated to first enquire whether these resignations were voluntary and genuine. He also said that any pending disqualification proceedings would have to be decided first.

In its first intervention at the instance of the rebels, the court had restrained the Speaker from proceeding with either the resignations or the disqualification proceedings.

It had instead directed that status quo be maintained regarding both.

Eventually, the court lifted the curbs on the Speaker’s powers and left it to him to decide at his convenience the resignation issue. It said that it would deal with the constitutional issue of whether resignations must be dealt with first or the disqualification proceedings first at a later stage.

The CM announced that he would seek a trust vote in the assembly soon after, and the House has since been debating the trust vote.
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