Karnataka High Court to resume hearing on rebel BJP MLAs tomorrow

Bangalore, Oct 20 (ANI): The fate of BS Yeddyurappa-led Government would now be decided on Thursday with the Karnataka High Court to resume its hearing tomorrow on the petition filed by eleven Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rebel MLAs, who approached the court against their disqualification by the Speaker last Monday.

The rebel MLAs were disqualified by Speaker KG Bopaiah a under the provision of the anti-defection law on October 10.

The two-judges bench on Monday had referred the matter to a third judge as they differed on the verdict.

On Monday, Chief Justice JS Khehar upheld Bopaiah"s decision to disqualify the eleven BJP MLAs but Justice N Kumar ruled against the disqualifications, saying the MLAs had not quit the party and therefore did not attract provisions of the anti-defection law.

Khehar said the conduct of the MLAs in withdrawing support from Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa"s government was ground enough to suggest that they had voluntarily resigned from the party, thus inviting action under the anti-defection law.

The judges also upheld that the principles of natural justice were followed in giving ample time to the legislators to reply to the show-cause notices issued by the Speaker.

The hearing on another plea by five independent legislators against their disqualification was referred to a new bench, which will take up the case on November 2.

The BJP government had won the vote of confidence with 106 members supporting it and the opposition logging 100 votes in a House with an effective strength of 208.

This meant that even if the five independents earned legal reprieve in the case, the government would continue to have the numbers in its favour.

Those BJP MLAs, who were disqualified are: Balachandra Jarkiholi, Belur Gopala Krishna, Anand Asnotikar, Dr Sarvabowma Bagali, V Nagaraju, Raje Kage, Y Sampangi, Nanjundaswamy, S K Bellubbi, H S Shankara Lingegowda and Shivanagouda Naik.

Former Ministers Venkataramanappa, Shivaraj Tangadagi, Goolihatti Sekhar and M P Narendraswamy and independent MLAs were also disqualified. (ANI)

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