Abhishek Singhvi on Supreme Court’s floor test order in Karnataka Assembly (English)

Dr. Abhishek Singhvi said it is important to apprise you of the lesser known facets in simple terms, the complexities and complications of law are important for citizens to understand, but they are less important than the simple 5-10 issues which arise in these proceedings.

First and foremost, it is a historic interim order by the Apex Court in this country. It is historic because, directly for the first time with this degree of specificity, it is raised for the first time, the extent of the right and discretion of the Governor to call ‘a’ or ‘b’ for Government formation immediately after the election. It has been raised, but not opined upon directly in any earlier case with this degree of specificity.

The first point I want to make is that although the Hon’ble Supreme Court was fully entitled to close the case today, because ultimately the case on the ground level will be closed tomorrow, not in law, but on the ground level when Chief Ministership is elected. But they kept the point alive to be heard despite the fact that somebody could legitimately argue that the matter is now infructuous and your Lordships don’t need to hear you.  So I think, it is at our request, at my specific request, and we are very proud that the Hon’ble Supreme Court will hear the matter and we hope and trust that we will establish this milestone as well in the near future.

Secondly, it is ironical and funny that people talk of frustration on the part of the Congress. They talk of it while defeat stares them in the face. The Counsel for Mr Yeddyurappa started after the Court had said that it is going to be held tomorrow, the floor test. By saying that if 15 days is not good enough, then please have it 10 days, he then came to 7 days. He finally said do not have it before Monday. Please do not have it before Monday. Well don’t you see the message is clear in that? Why Monday, why anybody will argue for Monday? You wrote a letter on 15th, today is the 18th you need  further till Monday to do what you could not do for three days.

Next, aspect of frustration – under the Central Government’s directions the number no. 1 law officer of the country of the Central Government, the learned Attorney General, on instructions, specifically and categorically asked for a secret ballot. As you know secret ballot is never-never, never-ever done for a confidence vote. But more importantly, who will ask – your common sense should tell you who will ask for a secret ballot? Your common sense should tell you why a secret ballot would be asked? The answer to both, 7-15 days and the answer to secret ballot is the same man, with the same name, starts with ‘M’ in English.

Then, after the Court made it clear that Mr Yeddyurappa shall not do anything of a policy nature, there was again an objection by the Counsel for Shri Yeddyurappa that how can you stop a Chief Minister from functioning and not taking policy decision. What is the objection of such a prayer when the trust vote is tomorrow, why will anybody  say that we want to take a policy decision? In fact I would say why is Shri Yeddyurappa so desperately anxious to write a letter to the Governor on 15th when the Election Commission Gazette notification notifying the election finally is 16th. Clearly, policy decision again is the third thing specifically the Supreme Court rej3ected. So Supreme Court said there shall be no secret ballot affirmatively and specifically. He shall not take policy decisions. It shall be tomorrow not 7 days or Monday and according to me, the letter of Shri Yeddyurappa which was produced today, is the most curious letter. It defies the laws of arithmetic, the laws of Einstein and Newton,  because it simply says, I have been elected leader of the BJP and I will form the Government rest assured, last sentence adds  – I with the help of others, will form the Government – that is all – we have seen the letter today. One line in fact, one part of one line.

How, who, where, why – nothing is mentioned about these mythical ghosts called others. Remember, our letters both from the JD(S) and the Congress said, we are so much in number; we attach a list of signatures. Same thing from the JD(S) – we are so much in number, we attach the list of signatures. So the question in law which we raised was, to what will the Governor apply his mind, that is assuming if the Governor would like to apply his mind bona fide, but in case the Governor would like, in a bona fide manner, to apply his mind, and I reserve  comment on that from a public forum – what will he apply his mind to? To the fact that simple arithmetic numbers tell him that out of 221 Election Commission certificates have been issued to 117 people. They are all on our side. 221 – 117 would only give 104. Rest, we will decide on the floor. So, for purpose of calling, I am not saying that we will win or lose, the Governors role for the purpose of calling had only to see 221 divided by the certificates issued and signatures given has to be 104, and you will then call whom. Unless like Alice in Wonderland,  Five is smaller than four, and seven is smaller than six, he has to call 117 or 116.

This is the truth and the root of what is happening and this will be set right tomorrow. I think the BJP knows that it is facing and staring at certain defeat, I think the BJP knows that it has lost politically, legally, constitutionally, but above all morally. I think that the BJP knows, that at least 50% of the things, which their prospected CM candidate, which the Central Government instructions to the Supreme Court, which the arguments of the Counsel for Shri Yeddyurappa were completely wrong against the Constitution, but morally reprehensible. On all those 50% points, they have lost. The rest will be set right politically tomorrow. We hope and trust that this kind of shenanigans will not go on tomorrow from the side of the BJP.

We hope and trust, that amongst those 50% points, is the remarkable point which everybody knows and our sources told us, that the informal recommendation had been made and the Governor was at the very edge of issuing the notification, but in the light of the hearing of the Supreme Court, it has not materialized and that is the nomination. According to us clear, but now according to the BJP camp denied, the nomination amongst the Member of the Anglo Indian community under Article 333 of the Indian Constitution. To even think of this before a trust vote is again politically, legally constitutionally and morally reprehensible.

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