SC order on midnight petition in Karnataka

The Supreme Court agreed to hear at 1.45 a.m. on Thursday, the petition filed by the Congress-JD(S) challenging the Karnataka Governor’s decision to invite the BJP to form the government in Karnataka.

Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra constituted a Bench comprising Justices A.K. Sikri, S.A. Bobde and Ashok Bhushan to hear the matter in court number six.

The petition sought a stay on the oath-taking ceremony, as communicated by the Governor to BJP leader B.S. Yeddyurappa.

In a midnight legal push, the Congress had approached the Supreme Court seeking an immediate intervention by the chief justice to stay the move, which it termed as an “encounter of the Constitution”.

The Congress urged Justice Misra to hold an urgent hearing in the night itself since Mr. Yeddyurappa is slated to take oath as Chief Minister at 9 a.m.

This petition was called on for hearing at 2.00 a.m.

Supreme Court later refused to stay Mr. Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in.

We have heard Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioners. On behalf of the Union of India, Mr. K.K. Venugopal, learned Attorney General has appeared, Mr. Mukul Rohatgi, learned senior counsel, has also made submissions, though he has stated that he has instructions from three M.L.As, viz. Mr. Govind M. Karjol, C.M. Udasi and Mr. Basavaraj Bommai, of the B.J.P. party to represent.

The petitioners have impleaded three respondents. Respondent No.1 is the Union of India, and as mentioned above learned Attorney General has appeared on its behalf. Since respondent Nos.2 and 3 are not represented, we issue formal notice to them. In addition, respondent No.2 shall be served through the Standing Counsel for the State.

After hearing the parties, we are of the opinion that it is necessary to peruse the letters dated 15th May,

2018 and 16th May, 2018 submitted by the respondent No.3 to the Governor which find a mention in the communication dated 16th May, 2018 of the Hon’ble Governor. We request the learned Attorney General and/or respondent No.3 to produce these letters on the next date of hearing.

This Court is not passing any order staying the oath taking ceremony of respondent No.3. In case, he is given oath in the meantime, that shall be subject to further orders of this Court and final outcome of the writ petition.

List the matter for further hearing at 10.30 a.m. on 18th May, 2018. The respondents may file their response in the meantime.

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