In what comes across as nothing short of fantasy political warfare to political junkies, the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) reached Supreme Court on late Wednesday night once it was clear that Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala has invited BS Yeddyurappa to form the government in the state. After a two-day political drama which kept the political pundits on their toes, the Governor invited BJP state chief BS Yeddyurappa to take oath as the Karnataka CM next morning, sending shockwaves in the rival JD(S)-Congress camp.
In an immediate action, the two parties filed a petition in the Supreme Court and demanded that the swearing-in scheduled for the next day be stayed. Acknowledging the urgency of the matter, the a special bench of the Supreme Court started the hearing at 2.11 am.
Here’s how the midnight drama unfolded in Supreme Court:
– A bench of Justices A K Sikri, S A Bobde and Ashok Bhushan was specially convened at “odd hours”.
The Congress-JD(S) filed a petition which challenged Governor Vajubhai Vala’s communication to Yeddyurappa to be sworn in as CM. Acknowledging the urgency of the matter, the apex court commenced the hearing at 2.11 AM. The hearing ended at 5.28 AM.
– The bench directed to produce letters of communication between Yeddyurappa and the Governor.
The special bench directed the Centre to place before it two communications, sent by Yeddyurappa to Governor Vajubhai Vala in which he had staked claim to form the government, saying their perusal was necessary to decide the case. On the other hand, it also sought Karnataka government and Yeddyurappa’s replies on the plea filed by Congress-JD (S) combine and posted the matter for hearing for Friday.
– The court didn’t stay the swearing-in
Congress-JD (S) combine, represented by senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, persisted that the swearing-in ceremony should be stayed or deferred. However, the bench denied staying the ceremony. It said, “we are not staying the oath taking ceremony”.
– Court’s rider to the Oath-taking ceremony
Though the court didn’t stay swearing-in, it made it clear that government formation in the state would be subject to the final outcome of the case before it. “This Court is not passing any order staying the oath taking ceremony of BS Yeddyurappa. In case, he is given oath in the meantime, that shall be subject to further orders of this court and final outcome of the writ petition,” the bench said.
– Mukul Rohatagi questions the urgent hearing
Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi questioned the manner in which the petition was filed in the midnight. The senior advocate said, “Heavens will not fall if somebody is sworn-in. This is not a matter of life or death or as if someone is going to be hanged”. He added further, “Courts should not stop a constitutional functionary (Governor) from discharging his constitutional duty. In this country, action will be amenable but office of the Governor cannot be injuncted,” Rohatgi said.
Later in the hearing, Singhvi made remarks which appeared as a reply to Rahatagi’s charge. He said, “If a Governor passes an order (inviting Yeddyurppa to form government) at 9.30 PM and the oath taking ceremony is at 9.30 AM, I have no option but to make your night black.”