New Delhi: There were two letters (dated 15 May 2018 and 16 May 2018) that were addressed by B.S. Yeddyurappa, State BJP President to the Governor of Karnataka. In the letter of 16 May it was claimed by Yeddyurappa that his party was the single largest party and it also had the support of others and requisite majority. Only on that basis, brushing aside the Congress-JDS claim based on numbers and without caring to ascertain the factual position regarding majority support the Governor accepted Yeddyurappa’s request and invited him to form the Government.
Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Kapil Sibal, appearing in the Supreme Court for the petitioners, contend that the Governor could not have invited Yeddyurappa to form the Government on the basis of such letters and made brief submissions in this behalf. These were refuted by Mukul Rohatgi, senior counsel appearing for the Chief Minister.
The Supreme Court Bench of Justices AK Sikri, SA Bobde and Ashok Bhushan today issued an order that says, In a matter like this, detailed hearing is required in order to decide as to whether action of the Governor in inviting respondent no.3 to form the Government was valid in law or not. Since it may consume substantial time and the final decision cannot be given immediately, the Court deem s it proper that Floor Test to ascertain the majority of one or the other group is conducted immediately and without any delay. Though the Governor in his letter of 16 May 2018 inviting respondent no.3 to form the Government has given him 15 days’ time for proving the majority on the floor of the House, having regard to all the circumstances of this case, the apex court took the view that such a Floor Test be conducted tomorrow itself i.e. on 19 May 2018.
Since the elected Members of Legislative Assembly were yet to take oath as specified in Schedule III of the Constitution and the Speaker was also to be elected, the Supreme Court took the view that the following procedure be followed for conducting the Floor Test:
A). Pro-tem Speaker shall be appointed for the aforesaid purpose immediately.
B). All the elected members shall take oath tomorrow(19.05.2018) and this exercise shall be completed before 04.00 p.m.
C) The Pro-tem Speaker shall conduct the Floor Test on 19.05.2018 at 04.00 P.M. in order to ascertain the majority.
D) Adequate and sufficient security arrangements shall be made and Director General of Police, State of Karnataka will himself supervise the said arrangements so that there is no lapse on this count whatsoever. Since the Floor Test is going to be held tomorrow i.e. 19.05.2018 at 04.00 p.m.
Rohatgi made a statement at Bar that the Karnataka Government shall not take any policy decision till the Floor Test is conducted.
The Supreme Court has given six weeks’ time to the counsel for the respondents to file counter affidavit.
The petitioners moved the application praying that Yeddyurappa be restrained from nominating and/or recommending any member of the Anglo Indian Community under Article 333 of the Constitution pending the floor test.
Tushar Mehta, ASG who appeared for the State Government made a statement at Bar that there was no move to nominate any such member till the Floor Test is cleared.
It’s gone viral on social media
Tomorrow a few MLAs will defect. There will be chaos and the vote will be deemed to have been passed. Watch this space