Karnataka polls: Floor test for BS Yeddyurappa to prove majority at 4 pm today; full text of Supreme Court order

The Supreme Court on Friday ordered a floor test in the Karnataka Assembly at 4 pm on Saturday, reducing the 15-day window given by the governor to BJP's chief minister BS Yeddyurappa to prove majority.

 Karnataka polls: Floor test for BS Yeddyurappa to prove majority at 4 pm today; full text of Supreme Court order

File image of newly-sworn-in Chief Minister of Karnataka BS Yeddyurappa. PTI

"Let the House decide and the best course would be floor test," a three-judge bench comprising Justices AK Sikri, SA Bobde and Ashok Bhushan said.

The top court said the pro tem speaker will take decisions in accordance with the law on the issue of floor test.

The apex court also directed the Karnataka government and the governor not to nominate any MLA from the Anglo-Indian community to participate in the floor test.

 

Here's the full text of Supreme Court's ruling:

Supreme Court of India

Record of Proceedings

WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) Diary No.19482/2018

DR. G. PARMESHWARA & ANR. Petitioner(s)

VERSUS

UNION OF INDIA MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS Respondent(s)

Date : 17-05-2018 This petition was called on for hearing today at 2.00 A.M.

CORAM :
HON'BLE MR. HON'BLE MR. HON'BLE MR.

JUSTICE JUSTICE JUSTICE

A.K. SIKRI SA BOBDE ASHOK BHUSHAN

For Petitioner(s): Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Sr. Adv; Mr. Kapil Sibal, Sr Adv; Mr Anup Chaudhary, Sr. Adv; Mr. V. Lakmshminarayan, Sr. Adv; Mr. Ashok Bhan, Sr. Adv; Mr. N. Mody, Sr. Adv Mr. Devadatt Kamat, Adv; Mr. Prashant Kumar, Adv; Mr. Amit Bhandhari, Adv; Mr. Varun K. Chopra, Adv; Mr. Nizam Pasha, Adv; Mr. Javedur Rahman; Adv. Mr. Aditya Bhat, Adv; Mr. Rajesh Inamdar, Adv; Mr. Harndar Neel; Adv Mr. Santosh Sharma; Adv. Ms. Siddhi Padia, Adv; Mr. Sumeeta Choudhari, Adv. Ms. R.H.A. Sikander; Adv. Ms. Dipali Dwivedi; Adv. Mr. Siddharth K.; Adv Mr. L. Nidhiram Sharma; Adv. Mr. Gautam Talukdar, AOR; Mr. Kapil Sibal, Sr. Adv; Mr. V. Laxmshminarayan, Sr. Adv

Mr. A.P. Ranganatha, Adv; Mr. K. Diwakar, Adv; Mr. R. Srinivasa Gowda, Adv; Mr. L. Srinivas Babu, Adv; Mr. D.K. Garg, Adv; Mr. P. Chidambaram, Sr. Adv; Mr. Sunil Fernandes, AOR; Mr. Ashish Khetan, Adv; Ms. Nupur Kumar, Adv; Ms. Anju Thomas, Adv.

For Respondent(s): Mr. Mukul Rohatgi, Sr. Adv; Mr. S. Padhi, Adv; Mr. Kush Chaturvedi, Adv; Mr. Sandip Patil, Adv; Mr. Kavin Prabhu, Adv; Mr. Somay Kapoor, Adv; Mr. Devanshi Singh, Adv; Mr. Nikhil Rohatgi, Adv; Mr. Shashank Khurana, Adv; Ms. Ranjeeta Rohatgi, AOR; Mr. Samten Doma, Adv; Ms. Priyashree, Adv; Mr. Ashish Yadav, Adv; Ms. Nisha Rohtagi, Adv; Ms. Devyansha, Adv; Mr. Vivek Reddy, Sr. Adv; Mr. Shailesh Madiyal, Adv; Mr. Nishanth Patil, AOR; Mr. Sandeep Patil, Adv; Mr. Sudhanshu Prakash, Adv; Mr. Nishanth Patil, Adv; Mr. Arun Shyam, Adv.

(3) Mr. K.K. Venugopal; AG; Mr. Maninder Singh, ASG; Col. R. Balasubramanian, Adv; Ms. Shraddha Deshmukh, Adv; Mr. Nalin Kohli, Adv; Mr. Rajat Nair, Adv; Mr. Prabhas Bajaj, Adv; Mr. Akshay Amritanshu, Adv; Ms. Kanika Saran, Adv; Ms. Aarti Sharma, Adv; Mr. B. V. Balaram Das, AOR; Mr. Tushar Mehta, ASG; Mr. Santosh N., Adv.

UPON hearing the counsel the Court made the following O R D E R

In compliance with the order dated 17.05.2018 passed by this Court, Mukul Rohatgi, senior advocate who is appearing for respondent no.3, has produced the copies of letters dated 15.05.2018 and 16.05.2018 which were addressed by BS Yeddyurappa, state BJP president to the Governor of Karnataka.

In the letter dated 16.05.2018 it is claimed that his party is the single largest party and has also the support of others and requisite majority. On that basis, the request was made to the Governor to invite him to form the Government.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi, learned senior counsel who is appearing for petitioner no.1 and Kapil Sibal, learned senior counsel who is appearing for petitioner no.2 contend that the governor could not have invited respondent no.3 to form the government on the basis of such letters and have made brief submissions in this behalf. These are refuted by Rohatgi.

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, we deem 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 dated 16.05.2018 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, we are of the view that such a Floor Test be conducted tomorrow itself i.e. on 19.05.2018.

Since the elected Members of Legislative Assembly are yet to take oath as specified in Schedule III of the Constitution and the Speaker is also yet to be elected, we are of 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 on Saturday(19.05.2018) and this exercise shall be completed before 04.00 pm

C) The Pro-tem Speaker shall conduct the Floor Test on 19.05.2018 at 04.00 pm 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 on Saturday i.e. 19.05.2018 at 04.00 pm, Mukul Rohatgi, learned senior counsel appearing for the chief minister makes a statement at Bar that respondent no. 3 shall not take any policy decision till the Floor Test is conducted.

Six weeks' time is granted to the learned counsel for the respondents to file counter affidavit.

Rejoinder affidavit, if any, be filed within four weeks thereafter.

The matter shall be listed for directions after ten weeks.

The petitioners have moved this application in which prayer is made to the effect that respondent no. 3 be restrained from nominating and/or recommending any member of the Anglo Indian Community under Article 333 of the Constitution pending the floor test of respondent no.3.

Tushar Mehta, learned ASG who appears for the State Government makes a statement at Bar that there is no such move to nominate any such member till the Floor Test is cleared.

The interlocutory application is disposed of accordingly.

The full text has been entirely reproduced from Live Law and has not been edited by Firstpost for style or content.

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Updated Date: May 19, 2018 06:27:52 IST