Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa today submitted before the High Court that he cannot be impleaded for disqualification of five independents, as the decision was taken by Speaker K G Bopaiah on a petition filed by some voters from their Assembly constituencies.
Counsel for Yeddyurappa argued that "he is not a party before the Speaker" in the case and that it was a "dispute" between the Speaker and the MLAs who withdrew support to the BJP-led government, for which they were disqualified from the Assembly on October 10.
The three-judge bench, comprising Justice Mohan Shantanagoudar, Justice S Abdul Nazeer and Justice A S Bopanna, told the Counsel that the MLAs made "prima facie allegations" against the Chief Minister.
"It's for you (Yeddyurappa) to participate (by impleading in the case and becoming a party) or not. Tomorrow, you cannot say that notices were not issued", Justice Shantanagoudar, speaking for the bench, said. The Counsel submitted that objections would be filed on the application of the five MLAs - Shivaraj S Thangadagi, D Sudhakar, Gulihatti D Shekhar, Ventakaramanappa and P M Narendraswamy - seeking to implead Yeddyurappa in the case.
Counsel for the MLAs alleged that the Speaker's "hurried order" was to "manipulate majority" for the Government. "It's necessary that he (the Chief Minister) is impleaded". Counsel for the Chief Minister sought time to file objections.
The bench decided to hear the case on November 12. Challenging their disqualification, the independents had filed a petition contending that they did not attract anti-defection laws as contended by BJP as they were elected as independents, not on party's symbol.
On October 9, some voters from the constituencies of these MLAs had filed a complaint before Bopaiah, on the basis of which the Speaker disqualified them the next day.
On October 27, they filed another petition contending that the Speaker had erred in disqualifying them on the basis of representations made by these voters.
The High Court had earlier upheld the disqualification of 11 BJP rebel MLAs who had withdrawn support to the Yeddyurappa government which has managed to survive after facing two floor tests in the assembly.