Supreme Court heard the Karnataka crisis on Friday (July 12). The matter remains unresolved still. Game of Karnataka throne goes on. The Supreme Court on Friday forbade Karnataka Assembly Speaker Ramesh Kumar from taking any decision on rebel MLAs' resignations till July 16. The next hearing will take place on the same day.
But before that, the Court heard arguments from all sides. Eminent lawyers represented the parties and put forward fierce defence of their stand.
Here are the arguments put forth by lawyers of both sides during hearing:
(Arguments presented below are not necessarily in sequence in which they were presented in Supreme Court. They have been paraphrased for better understanding. However, care has been taken so as to not change meaning and context.)
Adv Mukul Rohatgi (appearing for the rebel MLAs): The issue of resignation has been kept pending unnecessarily. This is being done so that rebel MLAs can technically be bound by a party whip which can be issued. The Speaker of Karnataka Assembly has no immunity when it comes to the issue of resignation of the MLAs.
Adv Abhishek Manu Singhvi (appearing for the speaker): Assembly speaker holds a constitutional post and he is constitutionally obligated to decide on a plea to disqualify the MLAs.
Adv Rohatgi (for rebel MLAs): Karnataka Assembly speaker Ramesh Kumar questioned rebel MLAs' move to approach the Supreme Court. He even told the MLAs to "go to hell" in front of the media.
Adv Singhvi (for the speaker): Assembly speaker is a senior member of the house. He knows the constitutional law. It is absolutely wrong to malign and lampoon him like this.
Adv Rohatgi (for rebel MLAs): The speaker should decide on resignations of the MLAs in one or two days. If he does not act, a Contempt of Court Notice should be issued to him.
Adv Singhvi (for the speaker): The speaker is duty-bound and empowered to decide on disqualification of the MLAs first.
Dr Rajiv Dhawan (appearing for Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy): I object against the submission by rebel MLAs that claims that assembly speaker acted in malafide manner.
During the hearing, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi expressed his displeasure with respect to Assembly speaker.
"Does speaker have power to challenge Supreme Court order?" asked CJI Gogoi.
It was after CJI Gogoi's nudge that speaker Ramesh Kumar was forced to meet rebel MLAs to take their resignation. The MLAs who were holed up in Mumbai's Renaissance Hotel were flown in to Bengaluru by a special flight. After meeting the speaker, they were taken back to Mumbai.
Meanwhile, monsoon session of Karnataka Assembly commenced at noon on Friday. Soon after Supreme Court scheduled the hearing on July 16, Karnataka CM H D Kumaraswamy rose to speak and urged the house to grant him time to prove majority which he seemed confident to achieve.
Both sides have now got some time to decide and refine their battle-plans as next hearing on Karnataka political crisis has been scheduled on July 16. What will happen on that day, or even before that is anyone's guess at the moment.
Watch | Karnataka crisis: Supreme Court concludes hearing, to hear matter further in a few days