Supreme Court order on rebel MLAs proves BJP govt is illegal, says Congress

Prime News,National, Karnataka, Bengaluru, November 13:- Minutes after the Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the disqualification of 17 rebel MLAs of Karnataka, the Congress blasted BS Yediyurappa-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state calling it “illegal.”

KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao targeted the BJP government saying the Supreme Court verdict proves that “Karnataka BJP government is an illegal government.”

A three-judge bench of Justices N V Ramana, Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari said if elected in by-polls, these disqualified MLAs can become ministers or hold public office.

“We are of the opinion that scope of duty under Article 193 has been discussed, Not making nay observation regarding the merits of disqualification. As such, there is no doubt that disqualification relates to date when the action takes place. The speaker in the exercise of powers does not have the power to indicate the period for which a person is barred from contesting an election,” the three-judge bench of SC said in its verdict.

“We uphold the order of speaker of disqualification. But strike out the period of disqualification,” it added.

Karnataka speaker had disqualified the 17 legislators of the ruling Congress-JD(S) coalition ahead of a trust vote in July.

The then chief minister HD Kumaraswamy had resigned after losing the trust vote, which paved the way for the BJP-led government in the state under BS Yediyurappa.

Bypolls to 15 out of these 17 assembly seats which fell vacant following the disqualification of MLAs are scheduled on December 5 and candidates are required to file their nomination papers between November 11 and November 18.

These disqualified MLAs recently approached the apex court seeking a direction to the Election Commission to postpone the assembly by-polls for these 15 seats till the pronouncement of verdict in the matter.

Some of these disqualified MLAs had argued in the apex court that they have an “indefeasible right” to resign as members of the assembly and the decision by the then Speaker to disqualify them smacks of “vengeance” and “mala fide”.

The disqualified MLAs are: Pratap Gowda Patil, BC Patil, Shivram Hebbar, ST Somashekar, Byrati Basavaraj, Anand Singh, R Roshan Baig, N Munirathna, K Sudhakar and MTB Nagaraj, Shrimant Patil, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Mahesh Kumatalli and R Shankar (all Congress). JD(S) members who faced action are K Gopalaiah, AH Vishwanath and KC Narayana Gowda. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).

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