NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court will on Thursday continue hearing the petition seeking immediate floor test in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly to prove the Kamal Nath government’s majority, saying it will not come in the way of the Assembly to decide on the floor test but asked how to ensure a free exercise of choice by the dissidents.
During the hearing, a bench comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta asked why the Speaker was delaying decisions on the resignations submitted by the Congress MLAs. The bench asked the Speaker’s counsel, senior advocate A M Singhvi, when a decision can be expected. Singhvi said he will inform by Thursday morning.
The bench also turned down the suggestion by the petitioners that the Registrar General of Karnataka High Court meet the 16 rebel MLAs camping in Bengaluru to ascertain if they are held captive. Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appeared for the petitioners, submitted the government was reduced to a minority following the resignation of the MLAs. He said the Governor has the discretionary power to direct a floor test to prove the government’s majority.
‘No evidence of Cong MLAs held hostage’
Referring to the SC judgment in the SR Bommai case, Rohatgi submitted that a CM’s refusal to test his strength on the floor of the Assembly should be taken as a prima facie proof that he is not enjoying the confidence of the legislature.
Rohatgi denied the allegations that the rebel MLAs are held captive.Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave made submissions in the petition filed by MP Congress seeking release of the MLAs allegedly held captive by the BJP. Senior advocate Maninder Singh, appearing for the rebel MLAs, asserted that they were not abducted. Singh submitted that their resignations were due to ideological reasons. The BJP has 107 seats in the House, which now has an effective strength of 222.
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh was briefly detained by Bengaluru police when he staged a protest at the resort in which the rebels were staying