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Karnataka crisis: Speaker can't be forced to take a decision on resignations of MLAs within a time frame, says Supreme Court

File photo: Supreme Court of India. Photograph:( ANI )

WION Web Team Delhi Jul 17, 2019, 10.42 AM (IST)

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that Speaker K R Ramesh cannot be forced to decide on the resignations of 15 rebel MLAs within a time frame.

"The discretion of the Speaker should not be fettered by any direction from the court. The Speaker can decide on the resignations as and when he feels appropriate," the top court said

 "As and when it is decided the same shall be placed before the apex court," the bench headed Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi further added.

The top court also said that the rebel MLAs cannot be compelled to participate in the Assembly proceedings or the trust vote on Thursday.

Reacting to the verdict, Karnataka Speaker said that he will take a decision that in no way will go contrary to the Constitution, the Court and the Lokpal.

The rebel MLAs welcomed top court's verdict. "We honour the Supreme Court`s verdict. We all are together. We stand by our decision. There is no question of going to the Assembly," a rebel MLA said on behalf of the dissidents.

Supreme Court on Tuesday had reserved its order on 15 rebel Karnataka MLAs plea against Speaker K R Ramesh for not accepting their resignations.

On Tuesday, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices Aniruddha Bose and Deepak Gupta heard the submissions made by the counsels of both the petitioners and the respondents.

Last week, the Supreme Court had directed Karnataka Speaker K R Ramesh to not to decide on the resignations or disqualifications of the MLAs till Tuesday.

Supreme Court's direction had come after ten Congress and JD(S) MLAs moved the top court, seeking a direction to the Speaker to accept their resignation and not proceed with the applications for their disqualification from the House.

Following which Speaker K R Ramesh had urged the apex court to recall its order which asked him to take a decision on the resignation of MLAs during the course of the day i.e. July 11.

On Monday, five other rebel MLAs approached the Supreme Court seeking direction to the speaker to accept their resignations at the earliest.

Karnataka government has been reduced to minority in the Assembly after 16 rebel legislators resigned and 2 Independents withdrew support to it.

(With inputs from agencies)
 

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The top court further said that the rebel MLAs cannot be compelled to participate in the Assembly proceedings or the trust vote till the Speaker takes a decision.