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Bhardwaj defends recommendation

S. Rajendran

BANGALORE: Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj on Tuesday, for the first time after submitting a special report to President Pratibha Patil three days ago, said he had indeed recommended President's rule in the State, and he had also defended his recommendation.

He said: "The intervention under Article 356 (1) of the Constitution is not limited to a situation of the government losing its majority in the Assembly. The intervention is called for whenever there is a breakdown of the constitutional mechanism and such a breakdown can occur in several ways. In the instant case, though the origins of the breakdown can be traced to the question of support enjoyed by the government, the actual breakdown is due to tampering with the composition of the Legislative Assembly in an unconstitutional manner."

On October 6, 2010, 18 MLAs, who were supporting Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, submitted letters to the Governor withdrawing their support, following which the Governor advised the Chief Minister to prove his majority. However, “the Speaker, in collusion with the Chief Minister, distorted the character and composition of the Assembly for extraneous reasons by disqualifying 16 members just hours before the crucial floor test,” Mr. Bhardwaj said.

The Governor said the Supreme Court, in its May 13 judgement, said: "Unless it was to ensure that the trust vote did not go against the Chief Minister, there was no conceivable reason for the Speaker to have taken up the disqualification application in such a great hurry. Extraneous considerations are writ large on the face of the order of the Speaker and the same has to be set aside."

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