Karnataka

Will go through plea on purported Yediyurappa audio clip, SC tells Cong.

Karnataka Chief Minister B S. Yediyurappa. File photo

Karnataka Chief Minister B S. Yediyurappa. File photo  

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Fresh application was filed after the Bench extensively heard petitions filed by disqualified legislators

The Supreme Court on November 5 said it will “go through” an application filed by the Karnataka Congress about an alleged statement made by Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa that 17 disqualified MLAs were kept in Mumbai under Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s watch.

“You have brought it to our notice, that’s it. We will go through the application... Please allow us to deliver our judgment,” Justice N.V. Ramana, leading a three-judge Bench, addressed senior advocate Kapil Sibal for Karnataka Congress.

The fresh application from the Congress came shortly after the Bench extensively heard petitions filed by the disqualified legislators challenging their ouster from the Assembly under the anti-defection law. The Bench on October 25 reserved the case for judgment.

Also read | A defensive BSY says video is ‘far from truth’

The application was annexed with a CD and transcripts of the statement allegedly made by Mr. Yediyurappa about the BJP national president’s role in backing the 17 disqualified Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) legislators’ effort to topple the Kumaraswamy government.

During the short hearing, Justice Sanjeev Khanna, on the Bench, told Mr. Sibal that every aspect regarding the circumstances prior to the resignation and subsequent disqualification of the MLAs, including their stay in Mumbai, had already been “extensively covered”.

“We have extensively covered everything in the hearings,” Justice Khanna submitted.

But Mr. Sibal persisted, saying the alleged statement made by Mr. Yediyurappa showed the role played by the BJP top brass in facilitating the “defection” of the MLAs.

“This brings to light the hospitality received by the MLAs at the instance of the Union Home Minister,” Mr. Sibal submitted.

The Bench, however, said Mr. Sibal had already addressed them on these aspects. “We will take it (application) on record, however,” the Bench said.

Also read | Amit Shah, BSY must resign: Congress

Disqualified MLAs object

The lawyers for the disqualified MLAs objected to the application, saying it was merely a ploy to delay the judgment of the court on the legality of the then Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar’s disqualification of the 17 MLAs under the anti-defection law.

“He (Yediyurappa) has denied the statement,” senior advocate C.A. Sundaram, for some of the MLAs, protested.

Justice Khanna said the acceptance of the application as additional evidence would have a “huge consequence” on the entire case. “It will delay judgment. We will have to issue notice,” Justice Khanna cautioned the parties.

The application was orally mentioned before a Bench led by Justice N.V. Ramana by senior advocate Kapil Sibal and advocate Sunil Fernandes on Monday for urgent listing.

Also read | SC reserves verdict on Karnataka MLAs’ petition

In the four-page application, the Karnataka Congress said the “annexed transcript which contains the speech of Shri Yediyurappa unequivocally establishes the fact that the entire defection of the petitioners was at the behest, supervision and directions of the leaders of the BJP”.

“A perusal of the transcript would clearly reveal that the motive of the petitioners was to defect and bring down the government headed by Shri H.D. Kumaraswamy, thereby attracting provisions of the Tenth Schedule of Constitution of India, 1950,” the application said.

The application said the Congress sent a letter on November 2 through the Governor of Karnataka to the President, demanding the dismissal of the Yediyurappa government and Mr. Shah.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 2:17:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/will-go-through-application-on-yediyurappa-audio-clip-sc-tells-karnataka-congress/article29886507.ece

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