FIve more dissident MLAs of the ruling coalition in Karnataka approached the Supreme Court on Monday. This comes a day ahead of when the Chief Justice of India-led bench is set to resume the hearing of the resignation of 10 Karnataka rebel MLAs.
The 10 MLAs, in their plea, said Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar was delaying in approving their resignations and hence acting in a biased manner in the light of the recent political crisis. The new five MLAs - Munirathna Naidu (RR Nagar), Roshan Baig (Shivajinagar), MTB Nagaraj (Hoskote), K Sudhakar (Chikkaballapura) and Anand Singh (Vijayanagara) - have also levelled the same charges against the Speaker.
In their petitions, the MLAs argued that since their resignations were submitted in person, there was no further need for the Speaker to assess their voluntariness.
Ten rebels MLAs had approached the Supreme Court court on Thursday. These 10 MLAs are Ramesh Jarkiholi (Gokak), Byrathi Basavaraj (KR Puram), ST Somashekhar (Yeshwanthpura), BC Patil (Hirekerur), Shivaram Hebbar (Yellapur), Prathapgouda Patil (Maski), Mahesh Kumathalli (Athani), K Gopalaiah (Mahalakshmi Layout), AH Vishwanath (Hunasuru) and Narayana Gowda (Krishanarajapete).
Based on the mentions by former Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi, who is representing all 16 rebel MLAs, the CJI allowed them to implead in the same case.
This development comes after the Supreme Court, in a breather for the ruling coalition, ordered status quo in the case pertaining to the resignation and disqualification of 10 members of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly.
The court held that since matters regarding various issues of interpretation of constitutional provisions were raised, including the SC’s jurisdiction over a Speaker’s decision, the case demands a further detailed hearing.
However, the top court asked the rebel MLAs to appear before the Speaker on Friday at 6 pm and directed the Speaker to give them an audience.
Now, on Tuesday, in addition to hearing the petitions of total 16 MLAs, the three-judge bench, led by the CJI, will also hear the petition filed by Karnataka Youth Congress Secretary Anil Chacko Joseph and others, who had approached the court, pleading to intervene in the ongoing case claiming that the resignation of these 10 rebel MLAs was to be treated as defections.
With a floor test likely to take place over the course of the week, the numbers are stacked up against the ruling coalition with BJP leading with a 107, and the coalition stuck at 101.