SC bench refuses to defer Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in, pushes Cong-JD(S)…


(Online Desk)

The Karnataka power tussle turned into a midnight courtroom battle in the capital as the Supreme Court heard a petition by the Congress-JD(S) combine challenging Governor Vajubhai Vala’s decision to invite BJP’s B S Yeddyurappa to form the government. The Congress termed the move to form a BJP government in Karnataka as “illegal and against the law and Constitution”.

CJI Dipak Misra agreed to a midnight hearing as the Congress-JD(S) said Yeddyurappa’s swearing in as the state’s 23rd Chief Minister was taking place as early as 9 AM today and there was very little time left for it. Lawyers Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Tushar Mehta, Mukul Rohatgi argued for the Congress-JD(S), the union government and the BJP, respectively.

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The three-judge SC bench pushed the matter to 10:30 am on Friday after a three-and-a-half hour pre-dawn hearing. It refused to stay BSY’s oath-taking and directed him to produce the letter written to the Governor on May 15 where he staked his claim to form government. The petition will be taken up for later hearing and it shall depend on the outcome of the case, it said.

The petition by Congress-JD(S) contended that despite presenting the list of 116 MLAs, governor Vala has invited the BJP which has 104 MLAs to form the government and has given relatively longer time of 15 days to prove the majority on the floor of the House, alleging that it will promote horse trading and poaching of their MLAs.

Here are the latest developments on Supreme Court hearing over Congress-JD(S) plea against Karnataka Governor’s decision to invite the BJP to for government in the state:

2:26 AM: Cong was deprived to form govt in Goa despite being single largest party, SC had upheld govt formation by BJP: Congress leader and senior lawyer AM Singhvi to SC.

2:24 AM: Singhvi says BJP has 104 MLAs and Governor invited B S Yeddyurappa to form govt in “unconstitutional manner”; JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy with Congress has 116 MLAs.

2:19 AM: Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing BJP and B S Yeddyurappa, says no injunction can be issued to Governor.

* A bench of Justices A K Sikri, S A Bobde and Ashok Bhushan was specially convened at “odd hours” to hear the petition which challenges the Governor Vajubhai Vala’s communication to Yeddyurappa to be sworn in as CM.

* The bench noted that it is necessary to peruse the letters dated May 15 and May 16 submitted by Yeddyurappa to Governor for claiming stake for government formation.

* It requested Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre and Yeddyurappa to produce these letters on next hearing tomorrow at 10.30 am.

* The court made it clear that its order allowing swearing-in and government formation by the BJP in Karnataka is subject to the outcome of the case before it.

* It also issued notices to the Karnataka government and Yeddyurappa as it was clarified by senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi that he was appearing for three BJP MLAs — Govind M Karjol, C M Udasi and Basavaraj Bommai.