The Supreme Court on Thursday heard an urgent plea that 10 rebel MLAs from Karnataka filed against Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar for not accepting their resignations. The court permitted the MLAs who have quit to meet Kumar at 6 pm to tender their resignations, Bar and Bench reported.
The court issued a notice to the speaker and the Karnataka government and adjourned the hearing till Friday, News9 reported.
The 10 MLAs, from the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular), are Pratap Gouda Patil, Ramesh Jarkhiholi, Byrati Basavaraj, BC Patil, ST Somasekhar, AS Hebbar, Mahesh Kumathalli, K Gopalaiah, HD Vishwanath and Narayan Gowda. They are holed up in a hotel in Mumbai at present.
Congress leader and advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi represented Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar and Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy. Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the MLAs, had asked for the petition to be heard on Wednesday itself but Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi rejected the request.
The political crisis in the southern state deepened on Wednesday as two more legislators resigned, bringing the number of MLAs who have stepped down to 16. While 14 of the legislators refused to meet Congress leader DK Shivakumar, another fled, and one was held in the room of Karnataka minister KJ George in the Vidhana Soudha.
The All India Congress Committee filed a complaint during the day, claiming that the legislators were being illegally held at the hotel.
A Bharatiya Janata Party delegation led by Karnataka unit chief BS Yeddyurappa had met Governor Vajubhai Vala and asked him to urge the speaker to resolve the matter quickly. The delegation then met Kumar. However, the speaker told reporters later that he had not accepted any resignations.
“I have not accepted any resignation, I can’t do it overnight like that,” he said. “I have given them [MLAs] time on 17th. I’ll go through the procedure and take a decision.”