The Free Press Journal - - FRONT PAGE -

Vet­eran lawyer and MP Ram Jeth­malani (94) on Thurs­day made a sur­prise ap­pear­ance in the Supreme Court in his "per­sonal ca­pac­ity" to chal­lenge Kar­nataka Gov­er­nor Va­jub­hai Vala’s swear­ing in of BJP leader B S Yed­dyu­rappa de­spite his party be­ing eight MLAs short of a ma­jor­ity in the Assem­bly. He had oth­er­wise taken re­tire­ment from seven decades of law prac­tice last Septem­ber.

He men­tioned his pe­ti­tion be­fore the Bench of Chief Justice Di­pak Misra and Jus­tices AM Khan­wilkar and D Y Chan­drachud, but was ad­vised to go to the ap­pro­pri­ate bench headed by Justice A K Sikri, which had heard the Congress pe­ti­tion overnight and will have an­other hear­ing on Fri­day at 10.30 AM.

What is his in­ter­est? He told a pri­vate TV chan­nel that he is in the court to get rid of Naren­dra Modi as the Prime Min­is­ter. "I have one ob­jec­tive left, to get rid of Modi. I have not lost faith in the Supreme Court."

But where does Modi fig­ure in this case? He said he had no doubt about the Gov­er­nor's con­nivance with Modi in what he told the

court was "gross abuse of con­sti­tu­tional power."

Jeth­malani, who fell out with the BJP and now rep­re­sents Lalu Prasad's Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in the Ra­jya Sabha, said: "I don't want to get into the past but my ob­jec­tive is to get rid of him (Modi)."

Is the Gov­er­nor en­cour­ag­ing horse trad­ing to let Yed­dyu­rappa muster a ma­jor­ity that the BJP does not en­joy? Jeth­malani shot back: "This is not horse rac­ing, this is don­key rac­ing. Open invitation to cor­rup­tion... They can only get votes by de­stroy­ing democ­racy."

In a midnight hear­ing, which lasted un­til early morn­ing of Thurs­day, the 3-judge Bench headed by Justice Sikri re­fused to stall the swearingin of Yed­dyu­rappa, who took oath as the CM at 9 AM in Bengaluru, but sum­moned on Fri­day his let­ters to the Gov­er­nor that prompted lat­ter to in­vite him to take oath, say­ing his swear­ing-in will be sub­ject to the dis­posal of the pe­ti­tion be­fore it.

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