Congress can’t compel MLAs to vote in floor test, speaker free to decide:  SC

Congress can’t compel MLAs to vote in floor test, speaker free to decide: SC


In a well-balanced verdict, The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that the rebel Congress MLAs should not be compelled to participate in the proceedings of the state assembly.

As per the top court verdict, the government cannot use whips to force the dissident MLAs to participate in the trust vote on Thursday. But giving respite to the speaker, the top court also said that the Karnataka Speaker is free to decide on the status of rebel Congress MLAs whose mass resignations put the ruling Congress-Janata Dal Secular coalition into trouble.

"The discretion of the Speaker should not be fettered by any direction from the court. The Speaker can decide on the resignations as and when he feels appropriate," the top court said. The top court also directed the speaker to submit his decision to the court.

The court also said that the apex court has to maintain the constitutional balance. The rebels had argued in court yesterday that their resignations must be accepted by the Speaker, that they could not be "forced to attend the assembly". Sixteen legislators of the JDS-Congress coalition and two independent lawmakers have resigned over the past two weeks.

If the resignations are accepted, the state government will lose its majority. The coalition's 118 members will come down to 100 and the majority mark will drop from 113 to 105. The BJP has 105 members and the support of the two independents, which would take its tally to 107.