New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Saturday refused to interfere with the appointment of pro tem speaker, K.G. Bopiah and directed for live feed from the floor test to be provided to several local channels which would simultaneously telecast the footage.

The floor test to prove the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) majority in the Karnataka assembly will be held at 4pm on Saturday.

“What else can be more transparent than live telecast of the floor test", Justice Sikri said.

The court also noted that seniority for a pro tem speaker would not be assessed only through his age but also his tenure.

Congress and Janata Dal(Secular) had approached the court last evening challenging the governor’s decision to appoint K.G. Bopiah as the pro tem speaker.

On 18 May, Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala had appointed BJP MLA K.G. Bopaiah as the pro tem speaker after the Supreme Court said that the floor test would be held on Saturday and the pro tem speaker would preside and choose the manner in which it was conducted.

A three-judge bench comprising justices A.K. Sikri, S.A. Bobde and Ashok Bhushan also stopped the BJP from nominating a member of the Anglo-Indian community to the assembly until after the floor test.

On Wednesday, governor Vala invited Yeddyurappa to take oath as chief minister and form the government, giving him 15 days to prove majority support on the floor of the assembly. Hours later, the Congress and JD(S) moved the Supreme Court, challenging this decision. Chief Justice Dipak Misra constituted a three-judge bench which began hearing the petition at 2am.

Singhvi had appealed to the three-judge bench to either defer the swearing-in or quash the governor’s decision inviting the BJP to form the government. He argued that the swearing-in was a purely ministerial, non-statutory and executive function which could be deferred.

He cited recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission to buttress the case for the Congress-JD(S) post-poll alliance to form the government.

Rohatgi, however, said deferring the swearing-in would be tantamount to an injunction over the powers exercised by the governor. He said that the Supreme Court should not stop a constitutional functionary from discharging their functions. Their actions are amenable through a judicial review, but an injunction would lead to disturbing Article 361 of the Constitution, he argued.

The Karnataka election results declared on Tuesday gave a fractured mandate, with the BJP winning 104 seats, the Congress 78 and the JD(S) 37. One seat each went to the Bahujan Samaj Party, Karnataka Pragnyavantha Janatha Party and an independent candidate.

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