New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the 10 rebel lawmakers of the Congress-JD(S) coalition in Karnataka to meet the assembly speaker at 6 pm to convey to him their decision to resign. The top court also asked the Karnataka Assembly speaker to decide on the resignations during the course of the day.
The matter will be heard again on Friday.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose, directed Karnataka State Police chief to ensure the safety of the legislators.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the legislators who had moved the apex court against the delay in the acceptance of their resignations, said the Karnataka Assembly speaker acted in a mala fide manner by refusing to accept the resignations.
The 10 rebel MLAs who filed the plea in the apex court are -- Pratap Gouda Patil, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Byrati Basavaraj, B C Patil, S T Somashekhar, Arbail Shivaram Hebbar, Mahesh Kumathalli, K Gopalaiah, A H Vishwanath and Narayana Gowda.
A total of 15 legislators from Congress and JD(S) have resigned since 1 July and another two independents have withdrawn support to the H.D. Kumaraswamy-led coalition government that is staring at the possibility of a collapse if the resignations are accepted.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been holding demonstrations in Bengaluru demanding Kumaraswamy step down, as the coalition does not have the numbers to remain in power. The BJP feigned ignorance of the resignation drama, but the coalition holds the saffron party solely responsible for the whole episode.