Supreme Court to hear plea of 17 disqualified Karnataka MLAs seeking to contest bypolls today

  • A three-judge Supreme Court bench said it would hear on 25 September the plea in which 17 Karnataka MLAs have sought interim relief to contest the upcoming by-elections for 15 Assembly seats.

  • The MLAs were disqualified in July by then Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar.

  • The counsel representing the Election Commission told the bench that it should not stay the elections as bypolls for the 15 Assembly seats have been notified.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear the plea of 17 disqualified Karnataka MLAs who are seeking to contest bypolls for 15 Assembly seats in the state.

A three-judge bench, headed by justice NV Ramana, said it would hear on 25 September the plea in which the MLAs, who were disqualified in July by then-Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar, have sought interim relief to contest the by-elections.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the disqualified MLAs, told the bench that as per the disqualification orders of the then Speaker, these persons cannot contest elections for the remaining term of the current Assembly which will end in 2023.

 Supreme Court to hear plea of 17 disqualified Karnataka MLAs seeking to contest bypolls today

File image of the Supreme Court. Reuters

Meanwhile, the counsel representing the Election Commission, told the bench that bypolls for 15 vacant Assembly seats have been notified and the court should not stay the elections.

The Election Commission's counsel also said the Speaker's order disqualifying these MLAs cannot deprive them of their right to contest bypolls. Kumar had disqualified the MLAs which eventually led to the fall of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government headed by the then chief minister HD Kumaraswamy.

Kumaraswamy resigned as the chief minister after losing a trust vote, which paved the way for BJP to form a government in the state under BS Yediyurappa.

The lawmakers have approached the apex court, challenging Kumar's decision to disqualify them.

Some of them have contended in their pleas that the decision taken by Kumar before resigning as the Speaker was an entirely illegal, arbitrary and mala fide exercise of his power under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution.

They have also questioned Kumar's decision to reject their resignations by holding that those were not voluntary and genuine.

Updated Date: Sep 25, 2019 07:29:09 IST