The Karnataka High Court on Friday upheld the disqualification of 11 rebel BJP MLAs by the speaker a day before the B S Yeddyurappa government moved its motion of confidence on October 11.
The third judge, Justice V G Sabhahit, hearing the petition of the 11 rebel party MLAs concurred with High Court chief justice JS Khehar that their ouster was valid.
A two-judge bench of the high court had earlier given a split ruling on the disqualification and the case was then referred to the third judge.
Yeddyurappa described Friday's judgment as "epoch making" and a major step towards eradicating the menace of defection in the country.
"This order has come as a warning bell to those who indulge in defection. I hope this will herald a new era in bringing an end to defections in the country," Yeddyurappa said.
But the Opposition JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy, around whom the BJP dissidents have been rallying, said, "We are going to knock on the doors of the Supreme Court and hope the issue will be decided in our favour."
The case of disqualification of 5 Independents will come up for hearing on November 2.
With PTI inputs