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SC Orders Floor Test in Karnataka Tomorrow, Validity of Governor’s Decision to Be Decided Later

The Supreme Court has now ordered that the Pro tem speaker will conduct the floor test and the Speaker’s discretion will prevail. The SC was hearing a petition filed by the Congress-JD(S) combine in Karnataka against the decision of Governor Vajubhai Vala to invite BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa to form the government.

News18.com

Updated:May 18, 2018, 1:14 PM IST
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New Delhi: Putting an end to the tussle for power in Karnataka, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court has ordered that a floor test be conducted in Karnataka Assembly at 4pm on Saturday and has saved the question on whether the governor’s decision to invite the single largest party to form government was correct or not for a later date.

The Supreme Court has now ordered that the Pro tem speaker will conduct the floor test and the Speaker’s discretion will prevail.

The SC was hearing a petition filed by the Congress-JD(S) combine in Karnataka against the decision of Governor Vajubhai Vala to invite BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa to form the government.

This was after the three-hour long midnight hearing that took place in the apex court where the court had refused to stay the swearing in of BS Yeddyurappa.

At the start of the hearing, senior lawyer Mukul Rohatgi produced the letter by Yeddyurappa to the Governor. “I have the support of others and requisite majority,” reads BSY's letter.

Rohatgi said there was no need to name the MLAs supporting BJP and that SC was not the forum for such an action and that it would be proven on the floor of the House.

“Ultimately it is the number game and the Governor needs to see which side has the number,” Justice AK Sikri said.

Rohatgi, however, insisted that there was an “unholy alliance” between the Congress and the JD(S).

Earlier, sources said the Congress and the JD(S), fearing their MLAs being poached by the BJP, moved their MLAs out of Karnataka on Thursday night. Sources said except two Congress MLAs, all have gone to Hyderabad. All 38 JD(S) MLAs and two Independents are also in the city.

In another major argument, Additional Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta said that the “Governor never received signed letters by Congress-JD(S)”.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Yeddyurappa, told the special bench comprising Justices A K Sikri, S A Bobde and Ashok Bhushan that there was no pre-poll alliance between the Congress and JDS and they have formed an "unholy alliance" after the elections.

However, later the court pondered on two alternatives. First, to hold the floor test tomorrow itself or to hear the matter at length and decide the validity of the Governor’s decision. Dr Abhishekh Manu Singhvi arguing for the Congress said that there was “no such thing as the Governor’s discretion”.

Later, the court laid to rest the dispute by stating that “whosoever might have been called, the final test is on the floor of the House”.

Appearing for the Congress, all top lawyers such as Kapil Sibal, P Chidambaram were in attendance. Even veteran lawyer, Ram Jethmalani too appeared in the court challenging the decision of the Karnataka Governor.

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