New Delhi: Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi was all praise for the Supreme Court today for according a “patient hearing” of over three hours in the Karnataka power tussle, saying a rare pre-dawn hearing showed that “justice never sleeps”.
Observing that it also showed round-the-clock accessibility to the top court, the Rajya Sabha MP, who appeared for the Congress-JD (S) combine, commenced the pre-dawn hearing at 2:11 AM.
He said it was a “great thing” that the three judges — Justices A K Sikri, S A Bobde and Ashok Bhushan — assembled well past midnight to hear the petition which showed that wheels of justice was working and working well.
“Irrespective of merits, very gracious of SC to fix hearing at 1.45 am … Shows justice never sleeps & accessibility is 24×7, where merits so demand. Which apex court in world allows such accessibility?” he tweeted.
“SC deserves immeasurable kudos for sitting three and half hours from 2 am. Patient hearing par excellence. Though no stay, bench made swearing fully subject to further orders. In a sense, BSY’s oath is provisional. SC can change interim order tomorrow after seeing documents. Preponement of floor test also open,” Singhvi tweeted.
At the outset of the hearing at 2.11 AM, Singhvi thanked the judges for assembling in the court to hear the matter and said “I am sorry to disturb your lordships at this hour”.
“If a Governor passes an order (inviting B S Yeddyurppa to form government) at 9.30 PM and the oath-taking ceremony is at 9.30 AM, I have no option but to make your night black. I am extremely grateful that three judges of the Supreme Court are sitting in the court at 2 AM to hear the matter. It is a victory of democracy, irrespective of what is the outcome. Democracy has won,” he told the bench.
Singhvi, who argued for nearly one and half hours, said that by not inviting Congress-JD(S) combine, which commands majority support in Karnataka Assembly, the Governor has negated democracy.
He said by calling a person (Yeddyurappa) who has the support of only 104 MLAs, as against Congress-JD (S) combine’s strength of 116-117 MLAs, and then granting 15 days for floor test was “adding insult to injury” by the Governor.
“It is unheard of to give 15 days for floor test. Elementary common sense would tell that 104 party being called ahead of 116 parties and then giving them 15 days, is adding insult to injury,” Singhvi said, adding this might lead to horse trading and poaching of MLAs in the state.
At the fag end of hearing, there was some heated exchange of words between Singhvi and senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who was representing three BJP MLAs in the matter.
While Singhvi claimed that Rohatgi was appearing as a “proxy” for Yeddyurappa, Rohatgi shot back saying, “I can appear for whomsoever I want”.
At this, Justice Sikri observed, “we are averse to such kind of atmosphere in the court”.
The apex court refused to stay Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in as the Karnataka Chief Minister but made it clear that the swearing-in and the government formation in the state would be subject to the final outcome of the case before it.