SC stays plea against Anglo-Indian MLA's nomination in Karnataka Assembly

Hannah Rogers
May 18, 2018

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who vehemently opposed in the top court the Congress-JD (S) plea challenging Karnataka governor's decision to invite the BJP to form government in the early hours on Thursday, said this was not a Yakub Memon hanging situation which deserved a midnight hearing. Congress fell to 78 seats from 122 in the previous election.

Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala had invited BS Yeddyurappa to form the government following which he was sworn in as the state's chief minister.

Yeddyruppa took oath as planned but on Friday at 10.30 am.

Yeddyurappa has 15 days to prove his majority in the Assembly. The court said: "This means it is (an) open invitation to horse-trading", so that in effect the governor is permitting buying of MLAs by the BJP to prove their majority on the floor of the house.

The Supreme Court on Friday directed the floor test be conducted on Saturday at 4 PM inside the Karnataka assembly even as the BJP's lawyers opposed the move pleading for more time. It was submitted that the governor could not exercise the power of nomination, which can be done only on the aid and advice of the chief minister and his council of ministers.

Karnataka assembly will be convened at around 11 am tomorrow morning.

"Numbers can not be proven in the Supreme Court, not even in the Raj Bhavan (Governor's residence)". The BJP has claimed that "dissenting members" from both the Congress and the JD (S) - unhappy over the post-poll alliance - are willing to vote for the BS Yeddyurappa government.

23 missing as boat capsizes in Godavari river in Andhra Pradesh
Officials said since the boat capsized at a remote area and information on what exactly happened was not received. They could initially retrieve only two bodies, who were identified as villagers of Kondamodalu .

"Let the house decide and the best course would be floor test", a three-judge bench comprising Justices A.K. Sikri, S.A. Bobde and Ashok Bhushan said. The trend of the Supreme Court is not to interfere.

Congress and Janata Dal also claim the support of two independents and have accused the BJP of trying to bribe their lawmakers to switch sides.

In the S.R. Bommai case, the Supreme Court dealt with the case of dismissal of six state governments - in Karnataka, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan. The court also observed that the general trend of its past judgments was not to issue injunctions or to restrain the governor.

Dated May 15 and 16, Yeddyurappa had written two letters to Governor Vajubhai Vala on Tuesday and Wednesday to stake his claim for government formation.

Gandhi added that his party had ruled the country for several years but never tried to capture democratic institutions. "The defection law won't apply before an elected member is sworn in as an MLA", he said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party gained Karnataka after a series of twists and turns and a rare pre-dawn court intervention, setting the stage for behind-the-scenes political maneuvering to prove its majority.

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