SC Refuses to Pass Order on Karnataka Congress Request about CM Yediyurappa's Audio Clip

SC Refuses to Pass Order on Karnataka Congress Request about CM Yediyurappa's Audio Clip

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday refused to pass order on the request of Karnataka Congress regarding fresh audio clip in which state Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa is purportedly referring to the 17 rebel Cong-JD(S) MLAs who were disqualified as Assembly members.

A 3-judge bench headed by Justice NV Ramana said that since it has already reserved its verdict on a batch of petitions, filed by the MLAs challenging the decision of the then Assembly speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to disqualify them, no further order was required to be passed at present.

"As judgment in these matters has already been reserved on October 25, 2019, no further orders are required at present," said the bench, also comprising justices Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari.

The apex court said the issue raised regarding hospitality provided to the rebel MLAs in Mumbai, allegedly by the BJP, was already brought before it during the hearing on the pleas filed by these disqualified lawmakers.

A purported audio clip of Yediyurappa, expressing anguish against his party leaders at a recent party meeting in Hubballi over their opposition to giving tickets to the disqualified Congress-JD(S) MLAs for the December 5 Assembly by-polls in 15 constituencies, had surfaced last Friday.

In the audio, he is purportedly saying that the MLAs, who were later disqualified, were kept in Mumbai during the final days of the coalition government under BJP national President Amit Shah's watch.

By-polls to 15 out of 17 seats represented by disqualified MLAs will be held on December 5.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Karnataka Congress, told the bench that in the audio clip, Yediyurappa has said during the core committee meeting of the BJP that the whole thing was "engineered" by BJP national president, who is also the union Home Minister.

He said since the top court has reserved its verdict on the batch of petitions filed by disqualified MLAs, they want to place the audio clip on record. "You have extensively covered everything in the arguments," the bench told Sibal.

Sibal, however, told the bench that audio clip has come into light after arguments were over in the apex court.

"Order of the speaker has to be tested. If you want to place additional evidence on record then we will have to issue notice," the bench said, adding, "You have brought it to our notice, we will consider it. Allow us to deliver the judgement".

The Karnataka Congress has requested the top court to take on record the audio clip in which Yediyurappa is purportedly hitting out at his party leaders for not recognising the "sacrifice" of the disqualified Congress-JD(S) MLAs, because of whom the BJP could come to power in the state.

The speaker had disqualified 17 lawmakers as MLAs, ruling that they cease to be MLAs with immediate effect till the expiry of the 15th Karnataka Assembly (in 2023).

The top court had on October 25 reserved verdict on the batch of petitions challenging the disqualification of the 17 Karnataka MLAs before the trust vote moved by the previous H D Kumaraswamy government.