SC upholds Karnataka Speaker’s decision to disqualify 17 rebel MLAs but allows them to contest by-elections

Prime News, National, Karnataka, New Delhi, November 13:- The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday upheld the decision of former Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to disqualify the 17 rebel MLAs from the Assembly. However, the apex court maintained that the Speaker does not have the power to bar the disqualified MLAs from contesting the by-elections, bringing relief to the MLAs.

A total of 17 disqualified Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) MLAs of Karnataka had challenged the orders of the then Assembly speaker Kumar to disqualify them and had approached the apex court. The court also added that it doesn’t appreciate the manner in which the petitioners approached the court. Interim orders were passed by the coordinate bench.

The SC had completed hearing in October 2019 but the apex court had reserved its verdict. During the hearing, some disqualified MLAs had told the SC that they have an “indefeasible right” to resign as MLAs and the decision by the then Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar to disqualify them from Assembly highlights “vengeance” and “mala fide.”

The Election Commission has scheduled the by-poll for the 15 Karnataka Assembly constituencies on December 5, after postponing them once. The Karnataka by-polls were earlier slated for October 21, but it was postponed to December 5 as the case was pending in the top court.

Former speaker Ramesh Kumar had in July disqualified the rebel MLAs rejecting the resignations tendered by them, after they remained absent from the House during former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy`s vote of confidence motion on July 23. Kumaraswamy had resigned after losing a trust vote. Kumaraswamy’s loss allowed the BJP to form government in the state under the leadership of BS Yediyurappa.

In the 224-member Karnataka Assembly, the BJP currently has 105 MLAs and the support of one independent. (MR, Inputs: Agencies)

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