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SC Pulls Up Speaker for Sitting on Rebel MLAs’ Resignations

The apex court today pulls up Karnataka assembly speaker for sitting in rebel MLAs resignation and remind his constitutional obligations .

The MLAs mentioned their application before a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta Monday seeking impleadment as parties to the pending plea on which it was ordered that the speaker would not take any decision till Tuesday on the resignations and disqualifications.

The top court further criticises the speaker for not being able to take a decision on the resignation. “Speaker reminds us of our constitutional duty but he doesn’t decide. He tells us he will take his own time.

The top court also pulls up the Speaker saying, “What has he done since July 6 when the resignations were given. (The) Speaker didn’t do anything until they (the rebel MLAs) came to this Court.”

The Supreme Court, however, argues against Abhishek Singhvi, who is representing the Karnataka speaker, saying that there is no requirement that a member has to be physically present in order to resign. “They can send letters too.”

Congress leader and lawyer Abhishek Singhvi appearing on behalf of Karnataka Speaker argues that disqualification has to be recognised since the resignations were physically presented later. “All cases of physical presentation before the Speaker are from as late as July 11 and not before that. And four out of these MLAs haven’t physically presented themselves till date.”

Mukul Rohatgi says that the speaker’s actions aren’t immune from judicial review in matters of resignations. “The only immunity is with respect to business inside the House.”

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi contests the Supreme Court’s observations citing a previous case in the Kerala High Court wherein an MLA was allowed to resign even when his disqualification was pending since much before.

CJI Ranjan Gogoi says that the top court can’t decide if Speaker should decide on resignation or disqualification of MLAs first.

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