Karnataka Election: Democracy fights for life in the Indian Supreme Court

Written by Sabrangindia | Published on: May 17, 2018
Elections are supposed to honour democracy, but of late election time is usually when various political parties declare an open season on the democratic process. If gerrymandering fails to work, they resort to horse-trading. Promises are made, money changes hands and defections decide who gets to form the government. With the governor inviting the BJP to form the government in Karnataka despite its failure to cross the halfway mark in terms of seats won in the assembly, the newly formed post poll alliance between the Janta Dal (Secular) and the Congress have moved the Supreme Court seeking urgent relief. 

Karnataka Elections
Image: Hindustan Times

The SC, in an unprecedented move, held an overnight hearing on the matter. The Bench that heard the matter at 2am, comprised Justices A.K Sikri, S.A Bobde and Ashok Bhushan. Attorney General KK Venugopal represented the Union of India while senior advocate Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi represented the petitioners Dr.G. Paremeshwara, Congress MLA and H.D Kumaraswamy, JD(S) MLA. The petition drafted by Advocates Devadatt Kamat, Prashant Kumar, Javedar Rehman, Aditya Bhat and Rajesh Inamdar was filed through Gautam Talukdar. Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi stated that he has instructions from the BJP MLAs Govind M. Karjol C.M Udasi and Basavaraj Bommai.

Hearing went on till early in the morning after which the court asked for the letter given by BS Yedyurappa to the governor showing majority. This letter is to be produced at the next hearing scheduled to take place at 10:30am on 18th May, 2018. The court did not pass an order staying BS Yedrurappa’s swearing in.

In its order the court said, “After hearing the parties, we are of the opinion that it is necessary to peruse the letters dated 15th May, 2018 and 16th May, 2018 submitted by the respondent No.3 (Yedyurappa) to the Governor which find a mention in the communication dated 16th May, 2018 of the Hon’ble Governor. We request the learned Attorney General and/or respondent No.3 to produce these letters on the next date of hearing. WPD 19482/18 3 This Court is not passing any order staying the oath taking ceremony of respondent No.3. 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 entire petition may be read here: