SC decision on Pro-term Speaker ambiguous: Michael F Saldanha

Bengaluru: Commenting on the political uncertainty after the state elections, retired Justice Michael F. Saldanha has termed the apex court’s decision on the appointment of Pro-term Speaker as ambiguous.

“In a disputed situation like this, the court could have asked for the names during the hearing and could have chosen the name. Here, the court did not specify whether the Pro-term Speaker should be the elected MLA from the single largest party or from the whole lot. The Supreme Court should have selected the senior-most elected MLA,” he explained.

Not only the Congress-JD(S) were enraged over Governor Vajubhai Vala’s decision to give 15 days to the BJP to prove majority, but the social media too criticized the decision saying it may lead to horse trading.

Not mincing his words, Justice Saldanha said the governor’s decision smacks of him being from the RSS. “The governor should have given only 24 hours and his decision cannot be justified. Giving 15 days to prove majority could have lead to the political parties adopting unfair and corrupt means, which is why I say there was substance in Congress’s charge, when it objected to a fortnight’s time being given to B.S. Yeddyurappa,” he said.

He also said that the law recognises coalition and the two parties come together to form the government, it becomes one.

“Mr Yeddyurappa did not have the majority. It should be the single largest party commanding the majority. The right thing would have been to go ahead with the floor test, which would have put an end to the disputes,” Justice Saldanha observed.

He even commented that the SC should have intervened and stopped the swearing-in ceremony till the party proved majority. “The state would not have lost much if there was no chief minister for a few days,” he remarked.

The Karnataka government has appointed three-time BJP MLA K.G. Bopaiah as the pro-term Speaker of the assembly, which the Congress has challenged since the convention has been to appoint senior most MLA. 

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