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  4. Supreme Court upholds disqualification of 17 rebel Karnataka MLAs, but can contest bypolls

Supreme Court upholds disqualification of 17 rebel Karnataka MLAs, but can contest bypolls

The top court said "It is equally binding on the government and the opposition."Justice NV Ramana, reads out 'we do not appreciate the manner in which the petitioners came to the Court'

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk New Delhi Updated on: November 13, 2019 12:55 IST
Supreme Court upholds disqualification of 17 rebel Karnataka MLAs, but can contest bypolls

Supreme Court upholds disqualification of 17 rebel Karnataka MLAs, but can contest bypolls

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld an order by former Karnataka Assembly Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar disqualifying 17 Karnataka MLAs in July. The top court said that the MLAs can contest the by-elections in the state on December 5.

Earlier, The former Speaker had said in his order that the MLAs cannot contest elections until the term of the current assembly ends in 2023.

A three-judge bench of the top court, comprising justices NV Ramana, Sanjeev Khanna and Krishna Murari heard the pleas of the lawmakers. Justice NV Ramana said, "We are upholding the order of the Speaker." 

The top court said "It is equally binding on the government and the opposition."Justice NV Ramana, reads out 'we do not appreciate the manner in which the petitioners came to the Court'.

Justice NV Ramana observed in his verdict that on growing trend of Speakers acting against constitutional mandate, "Citizens are denied stable governments."

The court said its verdict is based on facts and circumstance of case and does not interfere in the Speaker's power to disqualify members.

In July, the 17 rebel legislators had switched sides to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after assembly elections, leading to the collapse of the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular), or JD(S) coalition government.

Speaker Kumar had refused to accept their resignations and instead disqualified them, barring them from contesting elections until the end of the assembly’s term in 2023.

Kumar had disqualified the lawmakers on grounds that their resignations were not voluntary and genuine, hence it amounted to defection.

The rebel members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) argued that their resignation was voluntary and they have the right to resign.

Former Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy had resigned after losing the trust vote, which paved the way for the BJP-led government in the state under BS Yediyurappa.

ALSO READ | Disqualified Karnataka MLAs move SC for postponement of Dec 5 bypolls

 

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