New Delhi/Bengaluru: BS Yeddyurappa will take oath as Karnataka Chief Minister at 9 am today after his party, the BJP, was invited to form government. The BJP leader has been given 15 days to prove majority by the Governor on Wednesday evening.
In an rare post-midnight hearing, the Supreme Court ruled out that it won’t stop Mr Yeddyurappa swearing-in. “As far as swearing-in is concerned, we are not restraining it, but we are making it subject to the outcome of the case,” a three-judge bench, comprising Justices AK Sikri, SA Bobde and Ashok Bhushan, said after the all-night hearing that stretched for three-and-a-half hours.
The Supreme Court will resume hearing the case Friday morning at 10.30 a.m. and has ordered the BJP to produce the letters submitted by BS Yeddyurappa to the governor by then.
Here are the live updates on race for government formation in Karnataka:
In the Supreme Court, the government was represented by the government’s top law officer KK Venugopal and his deputies Tushar Mehta and Maninder Singh. Mr Venugopal’s predecessor, Mukul Rohatgi said he was appearing for some BJP legislators.
Sc deserves immeasurable kudos 4sitting 3+ half hrs frm 2am. Patient hearing par excellence. Tho no stay bench made swearing fully subject 2further orders. In a sense BSY’s oath is provisional. SC can change interim order tomm after seeing docs. Preponement of fl test also open.
– Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) May 17, 2018
I seek your support and blessings as I take oath as the Chief Minister of Karnataka tomorrow on May 17 at 9 AM in Raj Bhavan. Honourable Governor Shri Vajubhai Vala will administer the oath.
– B.S. Yeddyurappa (@BSYBJP) May 16, 2018
Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra had agreed to open the doors of the Supreme Court at around 1 a.m. and constituted a three-judge bench to hear the last-minute petition that asked the judges to stop Mr Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in scheduled to be held a few hours later.
This is the second time that the Supreme Court is holding an overnight hearing. The first was in July 2015 when the top court held a 90-minute hearing in the middle of the night to hear a last-minute petition against the execution of Yakub Memon for his role in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.
Three BJP parliamentarians from Karnataka have complained that their phones are being tapped allegedly by the Congress government in the state.
The trio — Shobha Karandlaje, GM Siddeshwara and PC Mohan — has written letters to the union home minister, Lok Sabha speaker and top police officials in the state, seeking strict instructions to end this “pernicious practice”.
Good Morning Karnataka!
In a few hours from now, Sri @BSYBJP will be sworn in as Chief Minister as per your wishes.
While we will start a golden chapter in the history of Karnataka, the people of India, like the SC, will reject Congress’s mercy petition.#DemoracyWins
– BJP Karnataka (@BJP4Karnataka) May 16, 2018
Mr Yedyurappa’s letter to the Governor will seal his fate. There is no mention of a number bigger than 104. The Governor’s invitation does not mention any number at all!
– P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) May 17, 2018
“As far as swearing-in is concerned, we are not restraining it, but we are making it subject to the outcome of the case,” the three-judge Supreme Court bench, comprising justices A K Sikri, Ashok Bhushan and SA Bobde, said.
The BJP contends that it should be allowed to form the government as it is the single largest party. The Congress disputes the claim, citing the precedent set by the BJP in Goa and Manipur last year. In both states, the Congress emerged as the single-largest party but the BJP cobbled up alliances and was invited to form the government.
Mr Yeddyurappa had been invited by Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala, last evening, to form government in Karnataka