New Delhi, May 19: Striking the right chords and rejoicing over their first victory, the Supreme Court on Saturday rejected Congress plea seeking removal of KG Bopiah as pro tem speaker. In its order, the apex court ruled that Bopaiah will continue to be the pro tem speaker while saying that live broadcast of floor test would be the best way to ensure transparency of proceedings.
During the hearing, a three-judge bench, headed by Justice AK Sikri and comprising Justices SA Bobde and Ashok Bhushan, said, “Law can’t direct the Governor to appoint a particular person as Pro-tem Speaker. Unless convention becomes the legal norm, it can’t be enforced by Court.”
Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Kapil Sibal appeared for the Congress -JD(S) combine whereas, AG KK Venugopal and ASG Tushar Mehta along with senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi defended the appointment of Pro tem speaker.
On Friday, the Congress-JD (S) combine moved the Supreme Court challenging Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala’s decision to appoint KG Bopaiah as the pro tem speaker. In the application, the combined party demanded setting aside of the decision to appoint BJP MLA Bopaiah as the pro tem Speaker saying it was contrary to the tradition, as per which the post goes to the senior-most legislator.
It termed the governor’s action as a “brazen unconstitutional” act to appoint “a junior MLA as the pro tem speaker. The application also seeks certain urgent directions to ensure that the floor test is conducted in a fair and transparent manner.”
The governor’s decision to appoint Bopaiah came after the top court ordered holding of floor test in the Karnataka assembly today for ascertaining the majority or otherwise of the BS Yeddyurappa government and for the immediate appointment of the pro tem speaker.
In its order, the apex court has enumerated four steps that have to be followed for holding the floor test, directing the immediate appointment of the pro tem speaker, holding the oath ceremony for all elected members today. This exercise has to be completed before 4 pm when the floor test will be held to ascertain the majority.