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Supreme Court orders floor test in Karnataka Assembly at 4pm tomorrow

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Supreme Court of India

New Delhi, May 18: The three-judge Supreme Court bench on Friday ordered a floor test in the Karnataka assembly at 4 pm tomorrow.

The court was hearing the petition filed by the Congress-JD(S) combine against the decision of Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala to invite BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa to form the government in the state.

Noted lawyer Kapil Sibal appeared for Congress-JDS along with Sr Advocate AM Singhvi, Sr Advocate Ram Jethmalani. While Senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi represented the BJP.

Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani had also filed a petition to have an urgent hearing on the same.

Yesterday, the Congress-JD(S) moved fresh plea in Supreme Court challenging Governor’s decision to nominate an Anglo-Indian MLA to Assembly.

A bench of Justices A K Sikri, S A Bobde, and Ashok Bhushan heard the petitions, and also examined the letters dated May 15 and 16, written by Yeddyurappa to Governor Vala, staking claim to form the government.

In one of the most bitterly fought polls in recent times, the voting for 222 out of 224 constituencies took place on May 12. The major twist came in after the poll verdict that led to a hung assembly – with the BJP winning 104 seats, Congress 78 and JD(S) clinching 37 seats.

Despite Congress and JD-(S) forming an alliance and being in a strong position to form the government with enough seats together (115), Karnataka Governor Vajubhai R. Vala on Wednesday invited the BJP to form the new government.

Following the governor’s decision the Congress filed a plea in the Supreme Court on late Wednesday after which a rare midnight hearing by the three-judge bench of justice A.K. Sikri, justice S.A. Bobde and justice Ashok Bhushan was conducted that ran for hours.

After a midnight hearing, the apex court refused to stop the swearing-in of Yeddyurappa as Karnataka’s new Chief Minister.

However, the Court sought the communications which Yeddyurappa had written to Karnataka Governor informing him his election as BJP legislature party.

“The swearing-in is subject to the final outcome of the matter before it”, the court stated.

Yeddyurappa took the oath as the Chief Minister of Karnataka on Thursday at the Raj Bhavan.

Updates:

The Court Concluded the hearing by directing  floor test in Karnataka Assembly at 4 pm on Sturday.

Justice Sikri: We have to balance the equity. Balance can’t be one day submits Mukul Rohatagi. Ram Jethmalani submits that law has to be right. In this case governor has not acted properly.

Why immediate floor test, need reasonable time for MLAs to reach and vote freely: Mukul Rohatgi

A pro term speaker should be appointed and no Anglo Indian MLA should be nominated till the trust vote, said Kapil Sibal

What we ask is immediate floor test: Kapil Sibal for Kumaraswamy

Karnataka Governor hasn’t received any Letter from Kumaraswamy with all Cong and JDS MLAs signature: ASG Tushar Mehta for BJP

We question the signatures submitted by Kumaraswamy, floor test is the only option: Mukul Rohatgi

We are ready to hear you but what needed now is a floor test soon to test the majority, stated Justice AK Sikri.

Meanwhile, Kapil Sibal questioned the decision of the Governor to invite Yeddyurappa to form the Govt. In response to this SC said its a debatable one. Sibal replied, “No, its already settled one”.

We will make sure and give necessary orders to give security for all MLAs to reach house and vote in the trust vote, said the Supreme Court.

We agree for floor test tomorrow, Singhvi told the apex court and sought security for the MLAs.

During the hearing, Abhishek Manu Singhvi argued ‘Yeddyurappa claimed support, but he does not have letters of support from these MLAs or it is only his oral submissions.’

BJP is just saying they have the majority without any specific number and names whereas we had given the names and numbers, how could Governor had invited Yeddyurappa to form the Govt, stated AM Singhvi

Floor test is the best option, let the larger question on law how should Governor invite a person to form the Govt can be settled here later: Supreme Court

Even then who should be given the chance first, Congress and JDS should be given the chance to prove majority in the house first: AM Singhvi

Only alternative is a floor test for tomorrow, can’t give more time, said Justice AK Sikri.

It’s just the number game, who enjoys the majority should be invited to form the Govt, said Justice AK Sikri.

Former Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka and BJP MLA R Ashoka filed an intervening application in Karnataka government formation matter.

While Senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi who is representing the BJP said we will show the numbers (majority) where it is required, why should we show the numbers in the Supreme Court.

Rohatgi told the apex court that we are confident that we will get the majority, we might even get the support from few Congress and JDS MLAs, can’t reveal anything more at this stage.

Supreme Court asked Mukul Rohatgi to produce the letters, BS Yeddyurappa wrote to the Governor on Wednesday.

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India

India records 14,849 new corona cases; active cases 1.84 lakh

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Jahangirpuri Delhi Coronavirus Test
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India recorded 14,849 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, taking the active cases to 1,84,408 and total tally to 1,06,54,533, Health Ministry data said. A total of 155 more fatalities took the country’s COVID death toll to 1,53,339.

In all, 1,03,16,786 patients have recovered so far, pushing the national recovery rate to 96.82 per cent, the Ministry said.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 19,17,66,871 samples have been tested so far in the country, including 7,81,752 on Saturday.

India’s corona cases’ tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7 last year, the 30-lakh mark on August 23 and the 40-lakh mark on September 5. It went past 50 lakh on September 16 last year, 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and one crore on December 19.

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India

BKU leader accuses govt of acts to disrupt tractor rally

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Rakesh Tikait
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A day after the protesting farmers leaders on Delhi’s Singhu border caught a person who confessed to hatching a conspiracy to disrupt the proposed tractor rally on January 26, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) spokesperson Rakesh Tikait on Saturday alleged that the Centre and the administration are the ones behind such a “conspiracy”.

The farmer leader alleged that a conspiracy has been hatched to kill four of them and create disturbances during their tractor rally. The person was later handed over to the Haryana Police.

Tikait told IANS: “The man caught from the Singhu border’s protest site was a member of the gang. Only the central government and the administration can carry out such acts.”

“The government has been saying that the tractor rally on January 26 will be violent. How do they know that it will be violent?”

“1Our movement has been quite peaceful for the last two months,” the BKU leader added.

“The apprehended man was associated with a 10-member gang. We have handed him over to the police. Which agency will interrogate him is a matter to be seen,” he said.

Tikait said, “The same people were also part of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s programme. It has now been revealed that the government is behind all such acts.”

“Where there is a mob, violence has to be forcefully created and such an action is resorted to by the administration. These gangs have been imparted training, the same people are part of the mob and commit violence. “

“We have nearly 200 volunteers deployed at various borders of Delhi who are monitoring such suspicious people. We want a peaceful protest,” the BKU leader added.

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India

Terror hideout busted, ammunition recovered in J&K

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Indian Army Kashmir
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A large quantity of arms and ammunition was recovered after a terrorist hideout was busted by the security forces in the Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, officials said.

According to details, the security forces received specific input about the presence of a terrorist hideout in a forested area in Mandi.

A joint team of the Border Security Force, police and army carried out the operation.

The hideout was busted and a large quantum of arms and ammunition was recovered including one AK-47 rifle, three AK-magazines, 82 AK rounds, three Chinese pistols, five pistol magazines, 33 rounds of pistol ammunition, four hand grenades and one Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL).Searches were undergoing in the area.

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