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Speaker, rebel MLAs free to do what they want: Supreme Court

However, it also exempted the rebel members of the ruling Janata Dal S-Congress combine from taking part in Thursday’s trust vote in the House.

, ET Bureau|
Jul 18, 2019, 07.06 AM IST
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The court said the Speaker was free to decide at his “discretion” on resignations. There is no court-mandated deadline to act on the resignations.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court unfettered Karnataka assembly speaker KR Ramesh Kumar from any restraint on deciding the resignation or disqualification of MLAs.

However, it also exempted the rebel members of the ruling Janata Dal S-Congress combine from taking part in Thursday’s trust vote in the House.

In a short order read out in open court on Wednesday, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said an interim order was needed to balance competing interests and claims in this case in the light of the impending trust vote. The other constitutional issues — on whether resignation and disqualification should go hand in hand or be regarded as two separate procedures — can wait, he said.

“Const itutional principles should not receive an exhaustive enumeration by the court unless such an exercise is inevitable and unavoidable to resolve the issues that may have arisen in any judicial proceeding. In the present case, having regard to the stage at which the above issues are poised in the light of the facts and circumstances surrounding the same, we are of the view that the questions should receive an answer only at a later stage of the proceedings,” the court said.

The court said the Speaker was free to decide at his “discretion” on resignations. There is no court-mandated deadline to act on the resignations.

Speaker Ramesh Kumar had objected to the SC interim order which ordered status quo after the dissidents accused the Speaker of acting “partisan” and “mala fide” and mixing up the issue of resignation and disqualification to prevent them from resigning. The rebel MLAs had urged the court to exempt them from the trust vote as they ran the risk of being disqualified from the House should they defy the party whips to vote in a particular manner.
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