Karnataka results: SC to hear Congress petition challenging KG Bhopaiah's appointment at 10.30 am today

New Delhi: The Congress-JD (S) combine on Friday moved the Supreme Court challenging Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala's decision to appoint KG Bopaiah as the pro tem Speaker to conduct the crucial floor test, with the top court deciding to hear it Friday morning.

 Karnataka results: SC to hear Congress petition challenging KG Bhopaiahs appointment at 10.30 am today

File image of KG Bopaiah. CNN News18

Late on Friday, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra decided to list the matter before the three-judge bench, headed by Justice AK Sikri, which has been hearing the case.

The matter will be heard by the bench, which also comprises Justices SA Bobde and Ashok Bhushan, at 10.30 am, much ahead of the trust vote slated at 4 PM.
The Congress-JD(S) plea, filed through advocate Dev Dutt Kamath, was placed in the evening before the Registrar of the top court but some defects were pointed out in it, which were later corrected.

The cured plea was submitted late at night at the Registry and the Registrar of the top court rushed to the residence of the CJI for directions on the listing of the matter.

In the application, the combine has demanded setting aside of the decision to appoint BJP MLA Bopaiah as the pro tem Speaker saying it was contrary to the tradition, as per which the post goes to the senior-most legislator.

It termed the Governor's action as a "brazen unconstitutional" act to appoint "a junior MLA as the pro tem Speaker. The application also seeks certain urgent directions to ensure that the floor test is conducted in a fair and transparent manner."

Pro tem is a Latin phrase which best translates to "for the time being" or temporary. Usually, the senior most member is selected as the pro tem Speaker for purposes, which also include election of the Speaker.

The petition also urged the top court to have video recording of the entire trust vote process and conducting of the floor test through "a ‘division' into separate and segregated lobbies so that the persons in the different lobbies can be counted in a transparent manner."

The petition said "it is submitted that despite the settled parliamentary
convention and practice for appointment of a pro tem Speaker, a junior MLA Shri KG Bopaiah (BJP) with a dubious and controversial record of passing biased disqualification orders has been appointed as the pro tem Speaker.

"As a matter of fact, the conduct of Shri KG Bopaiah has been severely criticised and strictures have been passed against him by this Hon'ble Court. The disqualification orders passed by him were also set aside as being vitiated with mala fides and undue haste in two judgements of this Court."
Alleging "a shocking disregard to binding parliamentary convention and long standing parliamentary practice of appointing the senior most member of the House", the Congress-JD(S) combine said the Governor appointed "a relatively junior member of theHouse. ... This is in the face of the admitted fact that the senior most MLA is currently serving his 8th tenure but has been overlooked."
The appointment was "nothing but an attempt to seize and manipulate the floor test slated to be held on 19.05.2018 in the House, pursuant to the direction passed by this Hon'ble Court".

The combine alleged that BS Yeddyurappa "in tandem with the Government at the Centre is exercising influence through the Governor of the State to ensure that he sails through the floor test by hook or crook, in absolute disregard to Parliamentary practice and the well established convention of appointing the senior most member as the pro tem Speaker."

The Governor's decision to appoint Bopaiah came after the top court ordered holding of floor test in the Karnataka assembly tomorrow for ascertaining the majority or otherwise of the B S Yedyurappa government and for immediate appointment of the pro tem Speaker.

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Updated Date: May 19, 2018 08:21:21 IST