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SC orders status quo in Karnataka; No decision by Speaker until Tuesday

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New Delhi, July 12: The stalemate in Karnataka will continue until next week, with the Supreme Court directing the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly not to take any decision regarding the rebel MLAs. The matter will be heard at length on Tuesday next.

The court ordered maintaining of status quo on both issues relating to resignations and disqualification of the MLAs until Tuesday, when it hears the matter next.

SC orders status quo in Karnataka; No decision by Speaker until Tuesday

While adjourning hearing on the matter, the Bench headed by Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi said that various issues of interpretation of the Constitutional provisions arise in this case. The questions of judicial interference also arise and it needs to be examined if the Speaker needs to decide on the disqualification of the MLAs first.

Will he, won't he? Is the Speaker right in holding up resignations of rebel MLAs

Earlier, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi arguing for the rebel MLAs urged the court to issue a contempt notice against the Speaker. The Speaker cannot challenge the authority of the Supreme Court, he said.

Justice Gogoi sought to know if the Speaker is challenging the authority of this court. Is the Speaker saying that the court should keep its hands off? To this Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for the Speaker said that the Speaker was not challenging the authority of the court.

Rohatgi said that if the Speaker decides not to decide, then he should be hauled up for contempt. The Speaker gave a mixed response during his press conference. In the same breath he challenged the SC's powers to pass orders on him, he also said.

The CJI sought to know if the Speaker trying to decide on the disqualifications before the resignations. Is he trying to challenge our power to pass an order, the CJI also asked.

Senior Counsel, Rajeev Dhawan appearing for Karnataka Chief Minister, H D Kumaraswamy told the Bench that an ex-parte order was passed against him. The MLA's petition does not have a word justifying the petition under Article 32, he also said.

Singhvi said that this petition cannot be be entertained under Article 32 as there is no violation of human rights. What was the basis of the intervention by this court, Dhawan asked. The order yesterday was passed on the submissions by MLAs citing malafide, administration has come to a standstill. What does Article 32 have to do with all this. What do the MLAs want the SC to do. They say government has failed, so help us fail it further. They dragged the SC into a political thicket, he also argued.

The Speaker in an affidavit informed the court that he would decide on the resignations first. He also said that he had not made himself scarce or untraceable.

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