Karnataka: Supreme Court confirms the disqualification of 17 rebel MLAs, can contest bypolls

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Highlights

  • Supreme Court upholds the disqualification of 17 agitated Karnataka MLAs
  • The apex court has struck down the term of disqualification
  • The judgement will allow all the disqualified MLAs to contest the upcoming elections in Karnataka

The Supreme Court on Wednesday has confirmed an order by former Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar eliminating 17 Karnataka MLAs in July.

Though the apex court upheld the decision of disqualifying of the MLAs from Congress and JD(S), the term of disqualification has struck down.

The speaker stated that the MLAs cannot contest elections till the current assemblymen ends in 2023.

“We are of opinion that scope of duty under article 193 has been discussed, not making observations in terms of merits of elimination. As such, there is no doubt that disqualification relates to date when acts take place.”

“We uphold the order of speaker, but strike out the period of disqualification,” he said.

Supreme Court also said that the speaker acts as a partial-judicial authority and he’s position can only allow him to examine whether the resignation of MLAs is voluntary or not.

In short, the apex court has given a green signal to all the 17 MLAs to contest in the forthcoming elections.

17 MLAs that were disqualified had filed petitions after the decision of Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar ordered to disqualify them right before the trust vote in July.

A bench comprising of three judges, Justice NV Ramana, Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari had reserved its judgement on 25th October on the petition filed by the MLAs.

Elections for 15 out of 17 seats that remained vacant due to disqualifications will be contested on 5th December.

The by-polls have only been announced for 15 constituencies out of 17, excluding Maski and Rajrajeshwari provinces due to pending petitions in Karnataka High Court.

The disqualified MLAs had recently filed a plea to Supreme Court to request the Election Commission to postpone the elections till the judgement is declared.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal said that the matter has to be referred to Constitution Bench due to its constitutional prominence.

The current Karnataka Assembly Speaker V Hegde Kageri told the top court that he has no qualms over hearing the MLAs and is also ready to take a fresh call on the issue.

Congress had earlier expressed confidence that judgement will be ints favour. They also passed a statement that they were fed up of the incumbent government.

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