The Hush Post: In a late night development by the apex court, reminiscent of the last-minute petition against execution of Yakub Memon for his role in the 1993 Mumbai Blasts case, the Supreme Court gave a go-ahead to BS Yeddyurappa being sworn-in as Karnataka Chief Minister today morning at 9:00 am.
Congress leaders led by Abhishek Singhvi had knocked at the doors of the Supreme Court seeking an immediate hearing after the late evening invitation was extended by the Karnataka Goveror to the BJP leaders led by Yeddyurappa for the swearing-in ceremony. The Congress saw it as a tactic to prevent them from approaching the court against Raj Bhavan’s decision. Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra agreed to open the doors of the Supreme Court at around 1 am. He designated a three-judge bench comprising Justices AK Sikri, A Bobde and Ashok Bhushan to hear the last-minute petition.
The Congress had argued that the BJP couldn’t claim to have majority unless the BJP triggers defections. “The governor can’t negate democracy… The other side has 104 members and this side, 116…. It is elementary common sense on numbers (which one is greater),” Abhishek Singhvi, who had filed the request on behalf of the Congress-JDS combine, told reporters.
The government was represented by the government’s top law officer KK Venugopal and his deputies Tushar Mehta and Maninder Singh. Venugopal’s predecessor, Mukul Rohatgi also appeared on behalf of some BJP legislators.
Before the overnight hearing began, Abhishek Singhvi had tweeted “Shows justice never sleeps and accessibility is 24X7 where merits so demand. Which apex court in world allows such accessibility”.
The BJP has 105 lawmakers, including an Independent, in the 222-seat Assembly, but is seven short of majority. The Congress, which got 78 seats, has partnered with the Janata Dal Secular and together they have 116 seats, four more than the halfway mark.
In his invitation to BS Yeddyurappa, the Governor has given him 15 days to prove majority on the floor of the house. Yeddyurappa will take oath as Karnataka chief minister at 9 am today.