The Congress on Wednesday described the Supreme Court order stating that 15 party Karnataka MLAs who have tendered their resignation cannot be compelled to participate in the proceedings of the House as a "terrible judicial precedent".
Congress media in-charge and spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, in a series of tweets said, "Supreme Court's order nullifying the Whip and by extension, operation of Constitution's Xth Schedule to punish MLAs betraying the public mandate, sets a terrible judicial precedent! Blanket protection to MLA's, who are driven not by ideology but by far baser concerns, is unheard-of."
Questioning the Supreme Court ruling, the Congress leader said, "Does this mean Court can interfere with the working of the State Legislature by deciding when a Whip will be enforced? And abandonment of the Basic Structure doctrine of Separation of Powers?"
"Tragic that Supreme Court didn't appreciate the context and designed history of defections to subvert democratic mandates by Modi government over last 5 years. Supreme Court should recall own judgement of May 2016 striking down the illegal attempt of BJP in Uttarakhand to form government," Surjewala added.
His remarks came soon after the Supreme Court ruled that 15 Congress MLAs, who have tendered their resignations, cannot be compelled to participate in the proceedings of the House.
The top court also said the Speaker is free to decide on the resignation of the MLAs as per the Constitution.
According to the order, the MLAs are free to skip the trust vote in the Karnataka Assembly slated for Thursday.
Meanwhile, a resurgent Bharatiya Janata Party's Karnataka unit on Thursday hailed the Supreme Court verdict on the joint petitions of the Congress-JD(S) rebel legislators for directing the Assembly Speaker to decide on their resignations and allowing them to skip the session on Thursday for the trust vote, to be moved by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy.
"We welcome the verdict, which is a victory for democracy and the Constitution. It is better Kumaraswamy resigns forthwith than seek a trust vote in the Assembly when his coalition government has no numbers to prove majority," BJP's state unit president BS Yeddyurappa told reporters in Bengaluru.
In view of the apex court's order leaving the choice of attending the Assembly to the rebels and that they cannot be compelled to participate in the trust vote, Yeddyurappa said even if the ruling allies (Congress and JD(S)) issue a whip to be present in the House and vote in favour of the confidence motion, it will not apply to the 15 rebels who sought the top court's permission to abstain.
"The whip won't apply to the 15 MLAs who have resigned. They can't be coerced into attending the Assembly session," asserted Yeddyurappa.