New Delhi: Two Karnataka Independent MLAs on Wednesday 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 in Karnataka headed by Chief Minister Kumaraswamy collapsed on Tuesday with 99 members voting for the motion and 105 against it in a House of 225 members, including the Speaker and a nominated member.
The counsel for the lawmakers R Shankar and H Nagesh told a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that the MLAs wanted to withdraw the petition as the floor test has been conducted.
The bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose, however, sought the presence of senior lawyers Mukul Rohatgi and AM Singhvi, who represented the lawmakers and Speaker, respectively, for passing the order allowing withdrawal of the plea.
"Where is Mukul Rohatgi? Where is AM Singhvi?" the bench asked, adding that it will pass the order only in the presence of the senior counsel who had taken a lot of time of the court in arguing the case.
On Tuesday, Speaker Kumar 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 Kumaraswamy was defeated with 99 members voting for the motion and 105 against it in the House with an effective strength of 205 members.
Twenty members, including the two Independent MLAs, skipped the proceedings.
The Independent MLAs had moved the apex 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 making several executive decisions like transferring of police officers, IAS officers and other officials.
Their petition was filed after Kumaraswamy and Karnataka state Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao moved the top court, accusing Governor Vajubhai Vala of interfering with assembly proceedings during the debate on trust vote.
Kumaraswamy and Rao had also sought a clarification of the July 17 order of the apex court by which the 15 rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs were granted relief that they cannot be compelled to participate in the assembly proceedings.