New Delhi: Against the backdrop of political crisis in Karnataka, constitutional experts on Friday expressed divergent views on the power of a governor to issue directions to an assembly speaker.
Former Lok Sabha Secretary General Subhash Kashyap said under Article 175 of the Constitution, the governor has "every right" to send a message to the House, and the legislature is duty-bound to take action on it with "all convenient dispatch" (at the earliest).
The constitutional expert said Article 168 makes it clear that the governor is part of the state legislature.
But another former Lok Sabha secretary general P D T Acharya said in Karnataka's case, the state governor has "stretched" the definition of Article 175 of the Constitution.
"The Governor may send messages to the House or Houses of the Legislature of the state, whether with respect to a Bill then pending in the legislature or otherwise...," states the Article.
Acharya said the "message" governor can send is with regard to bills only. "The words 'or otherwise' cannot be stretched regrading how the proceedings are held," he told PTI.
"It is an extraordinary step that the governor has taken. Ultimately the court will decide whether the governor has this right or not.... The Speaker has the right over proceedings of the House. No other authority has any control over the Speaker so far as the conduct of proceedings is concerned," he said.
Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala has issued a second deadline to complete the trust vote process in the state assembly on Friday itself.
The governor's second letter to Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy came after the assembly failed to meet his first deadline to complete the trust vote process by 1.30 pm.
The governor had in his previous communication observed that resignation of 15 MLAs of the ruling JDS-Congress and withdrawal of support by two independents "prima facie" indicated Kumaraswamy has lost the confidence of the House.
Kumaraswamy, meanwhile, moved the Supreme Court Friday saying that Governor Vala cannot dictate to the Assembly the manner in which the debate on the confidence motion has to be taken up.
The CM questioned the governor's action of setting deadlines to complete the trust vote, and also sought clarification on the apex court's July 17 order which said that the 15 rebel MLAs cannot be compelled to attend the proceedings of the House.