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Saturday, 19 May 2018

Why The Supreme Court of India is Wrong on The Karnataka Issue

The Supreme Court of India is heavily involved in the making of the CM of the state of Karnataka in India. It called a special session of its bench in the middle of the night; and instead of saying so long as the law is not violated, it is not under the court's jurisdiction, it allowed Mr Yadurappa to take oath the next morning and asked him to prove his strength on the floor of the house in 24 hours. In doing so, it has, unfortunately not set a good precedence.

Instead the SC has made the following mistakes:

1. It has gone against the people of Karnataka:

In the Congress-DJS tie up only numbers are good. Thinking that the floor requires numbers that should not mesmerise the Supreme Court; as rest are all bad.

For a start, the parties had a very different outlook of the running of the government. The merger was not made with a desire to serve the people, as it did not have a minimal action plan, that comes about following a lot of discussions and understanding. It was made for the sole purpose of lust of power. In terms of the merger being after the election, them being ideologically bitter rivals, the formed government being a coalition and each getting only 1/4 of MLAs it is clear that the merger and the attempt to form a government is not the desire of the Karnataka people.

They want a stable government. The Supreme Court has gone against that wish of the people of Karnataka. It is not just a computer or a password detector, it has to look at the whole scenario holistically. It is, in effect, trying to give bad government to the people of Karnataka.

2. Against the mandate:

The very existence of Supreme Court is to give stability to the country and to aid in its progress. Few digits that does not meet or overshoots the critical number doesn't matter, as even statistical figures have a plus/minus scenario. The trend of people's mandate is already clear. Both in terms of the rise in its numbers and the gain being very close to the mid mark, it has got the people's mandate. SC's order is against that mandate.

3. The sole thinking of 'horse trading':

SC got it wrong here too. To think that the BJP can get majority only through 'horse trading' is not to understand the political game and to completely disregard the discontent brewing in the two parties because of the unholy and abrupt merger - in which party members were not consulted. Almost like there are many ways to skin a cat, there are many ways in the political game. Some of them could be entirely legitimate. Individual MLA has the right to be with his party of leave. Supreme Court not noticing the grief of the party members and only focusing on the possibility of 'horse trading' is simply doing injustice to them.

4. It helped Congress:

By implication, the SC made a big change but practically it has made only a small dent in the decision. It did not stop Yadurappa from becoming the CM. Like the arbitrary15 days offered by the governor, it arbitrarily offered 1 day for the floor test. By doing so it only helped the Congress Party financially, as it did not have to horde the MLAs like sheep in hotels for long. The SC does not seem to realise that BJP was already ready for the eventuality of a hung parliament. No wonder the BJP guys are still looking confident.

5. Endless process:

SC is thinking that if BJP does not produce enough MLAs in the floor of the house, then the Congress and the JDS will be given chance and they will form the government. This is a very flawed argument. BJP will simply not allow that to happen. Congress will then fail too. Then what happens? Will the BJP get another chance? What about the possibility of disturbance all over the state and the country and then a re-election? Will that settle scores? Or will it be an endless struggle.
5. Setting a trend:

Instead of saying that the Governor is within his rights to decide, the SC has made a well experienced and respected person a computer and a titular head, who has no discretion and who just follows rules. Practically, it has interfered in the rights and privileges of the Governors and has taken away their constitutionally guaranteed privileges. Since political rivalry is common, now cases will commonly land up in courts. Indian courts, we all know are simply inundated with cases. These will just add to it. Even if the courts manage to do the sessions, it simply makes India run by courts.

6. Previous wounds:

Almost like the opening of the Pandora's box, the political parties are already producing their past wounds. These only help in the disunity of India.


(addendum:  (20th May 2018)

1. Although, despite giving the same number of days (15 days) to the Congress there was no outcry, the Karnataka governor did give a befitting reply to the Supreme Court by saying 'I treat both parties equally, unlike you'.

2. Although, Congress is elated with the so called victory, the 15 days given could, in fact, be their nemesis and they may not be able to form a government. The merger may have the numbers but they also have a bad history with plenty of discontent members, who were forced into hotels. If that expect is taken into account, should not the new CM Kumaraswamy also be told not to make major decisions till he proves his majority on the floor?

3. Even if the merger, which is against the wishes of the Karnataka people, somehow forms the government the infighting of members in each party, the bitter fight between the two parties and the BJP adding fuel to the fire the formed government may not continue for long.

4. It's clear that BJP will use all its might to gain all the remaining vacant seats. That will not be enough but getting disgruntled members will certainly give it the majority. The no confidence motion could come early!

Till then, of course, Karnataka will see a disgruntled population being ruled by a disgruntled government; and Supreme Court, which did not have time to even think about the violation of human rights of the MLAs when they were treated like sheep, will get enough time to reflect on it being responsible for this mess in Karnataka - if not the future course of Indian politics.)

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