Supreme Court today heard the Congress-JD(S) petition challenging Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala’s decision to appoint KG Bopaiah as the pro tem speaker to conduct the crucial floor test.
Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Kapil Sibal appeared for Congress & JD(S), whereas Attorney General KK Venugopal & Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta along with Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appeared to defend appointment of Pro tem speaker KG Bopaiah.
Senior Congress leader and advocate Kapil Sibal in SC said, “The individual appointed must be the senior most member of the House which is a convention in the Parliament also.” ”Long standing convention has been broken after the appointment of KG Bopaiah. Even Supreme Court has ratified this practice in two judgments,” he added.
In response to Sibal’s plea, Justice SA Bobde said, “There have been instances where senior most MLA wasn’t appointed as Pro tem speaker.”
Kapil Sibal replied to Justice SA Bobde and said ”KG Bopaiah has different history. His decision of disqualification was set aside by this Court earlier.” “Just giving oath is fine but if Mr Boppaiah has to supervise trust votes, it’s a problem,” senior lawyer and Congress leader Kapil Sibal added.
The SC replied: “If you (Sibal) are casting aspersions on pro tem speaker then we will have to issue notice to him and postpone the floor test.”
Supreme court termed as “fair” the suggestion of Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala’s counsel that the floor test be telecast live and rejected Congress-JD(S) plea challenging appointment of pro tem speaker KG Bopaiah.
Supreme Court said,“ live broadcast of floor test will be best possible way to ensure transparency in proceedings. It said that several local channels will be provided the live feed of the proceedings so that they telecast simultaneously.”
KG Bopaiah continues to be the pro-tem speaker of Karnataka assembly and will conduct the floor test today at 4:00 pm.