New Delhi: In what comes as a relief for all the 15 rebel MLAs of Karnataka, the Supreme Court has decreed that they can’t be “compelled” to attend the trust vote to be taken up by chief minister HD Kumaraswamy on July 18.

The top court also held that the Assembly Speaker (Ramesh Kumar) has to decide on the resignations in a set time frame, but did not issue any specific time frame to the Speaker.

It might be recalled that lawyer Abhishek Singhvi had informed the court that the Speaker would take a call on the resignations by today (July 17).

The apex court also held that the trust vote would go on as scheduled (July 18) but added that as the resignations have not been decided upon, there is no way that a whip can be issued against dissenting MLAs.

Counsel for rebel MLAs Mukul Rohatgi said, “There is no compulsion that all rebel MLAs need to be part of whip on Thursday. Whip does not apply even if rebel MLAs don’t attend the session.”

It is worth noting that the Supreme Court has re-emphasised the supremacy of the Constitution. It noted that the values as enshrined in the constitution must be upheld, yet at the same time, there should be a balancing act.

It also said that the Speaker should take a call on the resignations without being influenced by the court itself and asked the Speaker to submit his observations before it.

On a larger scale, the top court said that the larger question raised in the case related to the role of the Speaker could be taken up at a later stage but as per the interim order (as of now), this is the observation it had made.

With this, all eyes will be on the Speaker and the chief minister when he takes up the trust vote on Thursday.