Supreme Court on disqualification of Karnataka rebel MLAs soon
The Karnataka legislators had moved the top court against the speaker’s decision to disqualify and bar them from contesting elections under the anti-defection law till the current assembly expires in 2023.Updated: Nov 13, 2019 10:41 IST
The Supreme Court will on Wednesday pronounce its verdict on the disqualification of 15 rebel MLAs in Karnataka by the then assembly speaker KR Ramesh Kumar.
The legislators had moved the top court against the speaker’s decision to disqualify and bar them from contesting elections under the anti-defection law till the current assembly expires in 2023.
A three-judge bench of the top court, comprising justices NV Ramana, Sanjeev Khanna and Krishna Murari, will decide if the disqualified MLAs can be barred from contesting polls.
The withdrawal of support by the Congress-JD(S) rebel MLAs during HD Kumaraswamy’s trust vote had led to the collapse of the coalition government in July and helped the BJP come to power.
By-elections to the 15 seats left vacant after the resignation of the MLAs will be held on December 5. The rebel MLAs want to contest in the bypolls. The MLAs want to contest in the coming by-polls scheduled in the first week of December.
During the hearings, the counsel for the Election Commission had said the speaker’s order on disqualification of MLAs cannot deprive them of their right to contest bypolls.
The Congress and JD(S) opposed the MLAs’ petition in the court and said it was an “open secret” that the legislators had resigned to help BJP form a government in Karnataka.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the disqualified MLAs, argued that the speaker has limited powers on resignations and can only carry out a check if they are genuine. The MLAs insisted they had the right to resign and the right to contest the bypolls.
The BJP has the support of 106 MLAs in the 224-member assembly including one independent. The opposition JDS-Congress has 101.
If the disqualification of the rebel MLAs are overturned by the court, Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa might accommodate some of them in his cabinet.