The Supreme Court, on Wednesday said that Karnataka Legislative Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar is free to take a call on resignations of the rebel MLAs and that a time-frame cannot be set for him to process the resignations.
The court decision has capped high-voltage arguments on Tuesday during which Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said the rebel MLAs are "hunting in a pack", alleging their motive is to bring down his government while the dissidents submitted that Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar wants to prop up a government which has lost majority.
Chief Minister Kumaraswamy is due to face a trust vote on Thursday and his government could collapse ahead of it if the resignations of the rebel MLAs are accepted by the Speaker.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it was not restraining the Speaker from deciding the disqualification but was only asking him to ascertain whether the rebel MLAs voluntarily resigned.
The bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose, also said the apex court had given a "very high status" to the Speaker while interpreting the anti-defection law decades ago and "probably that needs a re-look after so many years."