In a massive setback to the Congress party and Janata Dal (Secular), the Supreme Court has rejected the Congress' plea challenging the appointment of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA K.G. Bopaiah as the pro tem speaker and has ordered that he will head over the crucial floor test. During the hearing Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta said the speaker has taken a decision that the proceedings on the floor will be live telecast on local channels, to which Justice AK Sikri observed that it resolves the entire issue.
A three-judge bench, comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan and SA Bobde and headed by Justice AK Sikri, heard the Congress-JD(S) plea on Saturday.
The petition had claimed that the appointment made by Karnataka Governor Vajubhai R. Valawas "unconstitutional" and requests the apex court to set it aside.
The eight-page long petition copy stated that the court should pass an appropriate order directing to conduct the floor test by segregating the MLAs supporting and opposing the motion in different lobbies of the assembly.
Bopaiah’s appointment as the pro-tem speaker had triggered a massive row on Friday with the Congress party questioning Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala as to why a BJP MLA was chosen for the post ahead of the floor test.
Earlier on Friday, in a dramatic hearing, the Supreme Court ordered a floor test, to be held on Saturday in Karnataka Vidhana Soudha at 4pm, asking concerned parties to prove their majority in the floor of the House to stake claim to the Karnataka government. During the hearing as the Congress and JD(S) agreed to the floor test, the BJP had argued for more time and had also asked for a secret ballot. However, the apex court declined both the requests made by the BJP.