Two Independent Karnataka Lawmakers Seek To Withdraw Top Court Plea

New Delhi: 

Two Karnataka Independent lawmakers today urged the Supreme Court to allow them to withdraw their plea seeking its direction to the state assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to conduct “forthwith” floor test on a trust motion moved by the HD Kumaraswamy government.

The Congress-JD(S) coalition government on Tuesday lost the trust vote after a three-week-long power struggle.

The counsel for the lawmakers – R Shankar and and H Nagesh – told a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose that the lawmakers wanted to withdraw the petition as the floor test has been conducted in the Karnataka Assembly.

“Where is Mukul Rohatgi (counsel for the lawmakers)? Where is AM Singhvi (counsel for the Speaker)?” the bench said.

It said it will pass the order only in the presence of the senior counsel.

On Tuesday, Speaker Kumar had told the court that voting on the trust motion was likely to be concluded by the evening. During voting that evening, the confidence motion moved by Mr Kumaraswamy was defeated with 99 members voting for the motion and 105 against it a House with an effective strength of 205 members.

Twenty members, including the two Independent lawmakers, skipped the proceedings.

The Independent lawmakers had moved the top court, saying the state has plunged into a political crisis after they withdrew their support to the JD(S)-Congress government and 16 lawmakers of the ruling coalition tendered their resignations.

“It is submitted that the trust vote is not being conducted despite the government being in minority. It is submitted that a minority government, which does not have the confidence of the majority, is being allowed to continue in office,” they said in their plea to the court.

“The petitioners have been constrained to invoke the extraordinary jurisdiction of this court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India seeking a direction from this court to conduct a floor test forthwith in the Karnataka Assembly,” they added.

The legislators had accused the government of taking advantage of the logjam and taking several executive decisions like transferring of police officers, IAS officers, other officials.

Their petition was filed after Mr Kumaraswamy and Karnataka state Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao had moved the top court, accusing Governor Vajubhai Vala of interfering with assembly proceedings during the debate on trust vote.

Mr Kumaraswamy and Mr Rao had also sought a clarification of the July 17 order of the top court by which the 15 rebel Congress-JD(S) lawmakers were granted relief that they cannot be compelled to participate in the assembly proceedings.

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