The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed the two independent MLAs from Karnataka to withdraw their petition, after Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy lost the motion of confidence on July 23. Independent MLA H Nagesh and KPJP MLA R Shankar had petitioned the court on Monday, urging it to direct Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to conduct a floor test before 5 pm on Tuesday. They had claimed that the coalition did not have the numbers to run a government.
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Thursday reprimanded the counsel appearing for the petitioners, Mukul Rohatgi, for not being present in court. "When you want urgent listing all of you are here. But if you want to withdraw none of you are here,â€ť CJI Gogoi said.
The independents had moved the court seeking to withdraw their earlier petition on Wednesday. The apex court had adjourned the hearing, refusing to pass an order on the matter as the counsel for both sides were not present in court.
On Tuesday morning, the Supreme Court had decided to wait on hearing the petition as Speaker KR Ramesh Kumarâ€™s counsel Rajeev Dhavan had informed the court that the floor test would be conducted on the same day. The voting took place on Tuesday evening, and the Congress-JD(S) coalition lost its majority. HD Kumaraswamy also resigned as the Chief Minister soon after the Assembly was adjourned.
The political crisis began as 16 MLAs from the Congress-JD(S) coalition tendered their resignations on July 6. The two independents R Shankar and H Nagesh and the now expelled BSP MLA N Mahesh also withdrew their support from the government. The Congress-JD(S) coalition had 119 MLAs prior to the rebellion. On the day of the floor test, they had only 98 MLAs, while the BJP had 105.
On July 19, the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee chief Dinesh Gundu Rao moved the Supreme Court, seeking clarity on the issue of courtâ€™s exemption of party whip applying to the rebel MLAs. In his petition, he stated the SCâ€™s interim order on July 16, diluted the power of a political party to issue a whip and is contrary to the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution.
The petition mentioned that as guaranteed under the 10th Schedule, a political party has a constitutional right to issue a whip to its legislators. However, the petition is yet to come up for hearing in the Supreme Court.