In a major development, the Supreme Court yesterday ordered that a floor test for the Karnataka Assembly be held today at 4 pm.
By this order, a Bench of Justices AK Sikri, SA Bobde and Ashok Bhushan has effectively stayed the decision of Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala to grant BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa 15 days time to prove majority in the House.
The Court proceeded to direct that the Floor test be held tomorrow at 4 PM.
In a matter like this, detailed hearing is required in order to decide as to whether action of the Governor in inviting respondent no.3 to form the Government was valid in law or not. Since it may consume substantial time and the final decision cannot be given immediately, we deem it proper that Floor Test to ascertain the majority of one or the other group is conducted immediately and without any delay. Though the Governor in his letter dated 16.05.2018 inviting respondent no.3 to form the Government has given him 15 days’ time for proving the majority on the floor of the House, having regard to all the circumstances of this case, we are of the view that such a Floor Test be conducted tomorrow itself i.e. on 19.05.2018.
Since the elected Members of Legislative Assembly are yet to take oath as specified in Schedule III of the Constitution and the Speaker is also yet to be elected, the Court ordered that the following procedure be followed for conducting the Floor Test.
- Pro-tem Speaker shall be appointed for the aforesaid purpose immediately.
- All the elected members shall take oath tomorrow (19.05.2018) and this exercise shall be completed before 04.00 p.m.
- The Pro-tem Speaker shall conduct the Floor Test on 19.05.2018 at 04.00 P.M. in order to ascertain the majority.
- Adequate and sufficient security arrangements shall be made and Director General of Police, State of Karnataka will himself supervise the said arrangements so that there is no lapse on this count whatsoever.
Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi undertook that no policy decision will be taken till the Floor Test is conducted.
Similarly, ASG Tushar Mehta appearing for Karnataka government stated that no Anglo-Indian member will be nominated.