Legal experts were today divided over the choice of the pro tem Speaker of the Karnataka assembly by the Governor, but were one on the Supreme Court’s direction to conduct the floor test tomorrow, terming it reasonable and justified. Senior advocates Rakesh Dwivedi, Ajit Sinha and Vikas Singh hailed the apex court’s order and said the direction would help dispelling the speculations of “horse trading and poaching”. While Dwivedi said the top court’s order to conduct the floor test was “quite reasonable”, Sinha echoed similar views and said there was nothing wrong in the time limit granted by the apex court.
Singh, who is also the Supreme Court Bar Association President, said the top court should have deferred the oath ceremony of B S Yeddyurappa at the first place but welcomed the decision to give the minimum time for the floor test. “Looking at the developments, the time given by the apex courts seems to be quite reasonable. Such a short period was given on earlier occasions as well, in Goa and Uttarakhand. “There is a serious dispute as to who has the majority in the House. Any further delay would give opportunity to MLAs to move here and there. Two days have already been wasted,” Dwivedi said.
On the issue of appointment of BJP MLA K G Bopaiah as the pro tem speaker of the Karnataka assembly, Dwivedi said the choice lies with the Governor. The pro tem speaker is a temporary appointment and does not have substantial power, he said. Sinha said the apex court order is “fair and equitable”and there was nothing wrong in the time limit granted by it to conduct the floor test. “If you give too much time for the floor test, it would give a chance for horse trading. It is more or less a consensus order. There is nothing wrong in it,” he said.
Singh said the Karnataka Governor should not have called Yeddyurappa at the first place and the apex court has rightly asked them to undergo the floor test tomorrow. The SCBA president also criticised Governor Vajubhai Vala’s move to appoint BJP MLA K G Bopaiah as the pro tem speaker of the Karnataka assembly. “How can an MLA who is not the senior most be appointed the pro tem speaker. Why was a junior person appointed? It is totally wrong,” Singh said.