The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the disqualification of 17 Congress-JD(S) MLAs in Karnataka on orders of the then Speaker but paved the way for them to contest the December 5 bypolls on 15 seats in the state. The court struck down the portion of the order of then-Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar by which the legislators were disqualified till the end of the term of the 15th Karnataka Assembly.
"We uphold the orders of the Speaker on the disqualification," a three-judge bench of justices NV Ramana, Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari said. "However, we have struck down the second part of the order which says disqualification till the end of life of the current assembly," the bench said.
Following is the chronology of events in the 17 Karnataka MLAs disqualification matter
July 6: Twelve MLAs from the Congress-JD(S) coalition submit resignation leading to a 13-month-old Karnataka government into crisis.
July 10: Ten rebel Congress and JD(S) MLAs move SC alleging Assembly Speaker has deliberately not been accepting their resignations.
July 11: SC asks then Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar to decide "forthwith" on the resignation of 10 rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs, allowed the lawmakers to meet him at 6 pm.
Speaker Ramesh Kumar moves SC against its order.
July 12: SC asks Assembly speaker to maintain the status quo on the resignation and disqualification of 10 MLAs.
July 15: Five more rebel Congress MLAs move SC seeking impleadment along with the pending petition of 10 legislators.
July 16: Speaker tells SC he would decide on both disqualification and resignation of the rebel MLAs by Jul 17, requests court to modify its earlier order directing him to maintain status quo. Then Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy tells SC it had no jurisdiction to pass the two interim orders.
July 17: SC says 15 rebel MLAs "ought not" to be compelled to participate in ongoing Assembly session, Speaker to decide on their resignation within time-frame considered appropriate by him.
July 19: Karnataka Congress moves SC contending its order was coming in way of party issuing whip to its legislators in the ongoing trust vote.
July 22: Congress-JD(S) government collapsed after confidence motion moved by CM H D Kumaraswamy was defeated in the assembly.
July 25: Speaker disqualifies three MLAs under the anti-defection law.
July 26: Karnataka BJP stalwart B S Yediyurappa sworn in as CM for fourth time.
July 28: Speaker disqualifies 14 more MLAs under the anti-defection act till the end of the current term of the assembly in 2023.
July 29: Yediyurappa proved majority in the Assembly. Two rebel Congress leaders move SC against disqualification from Assembly.
August 1: 14 disqualified MLAs move SC challenging their disqualification
September 17: SC judge Justice M M Shantanagoudar recuses from hearing pleas filed by 17 disqualified MLAs challenging their disqualification.
September 23: SC agrees to hear plea of disqualified MLAs seeking to contest bypolls for 15 Assembly seats in the state.
October 25: SC reserves verdict on batch of petitions challenging disqualification of 17 MLAs.
November 4: Karnataka Congress urges SC to take on record a fresh audio clip in which Yediyurappa is purportedly hitting out at his party leaders for not recognising the "sacrifice" of the disqualified Congress-JD(S) MLAs, because of whom the BJP could come to power.
November 5: SC refuses to pass an order on Karnataka Congress' request
November 8: Disqualified Karnataka MLAs move SC, seek further postponement of Assembly bypolls scheduled for Dec 5.
November 13: SC upholds Speaker's decision of MLAs' disqualification but allows them to contest Dec 5 bypolls.