Disqualified Karnataka MLAs move SC seeking further deferment of by-polls
New Delhi, Nov 08: The disqualified MLAs of Karnataka have moved the Supreme Court seeking further deferment of the by-elections. The MLAs told the court that the polls should deferred till the judgment is given.
The Election Commission of India had notified the elections for the 17 seats for December 5. The disqualified MLAs had earlier moved the court challenging the decision of the speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly. The MLAs said that the by-elections should not be held until the correctness of the Speaker's order is decided upon.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the disqualified MLAs, told the bench that as per the disqualification orders of the then Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar, these persons cannot contest elections for the remaining term of the current Assembly which will end in 2023.
Meanwhile, the counsel representing the Election Commission, told the bench that by-polls for 15 vacant Assembly seats have been notified and the court should not stay the elections.
The EC's counsel also said the Speaker's order disqualifying these MLAs cannot deprive them of their right to contest by-polls.
Kumar had disqualified the MLAs which eventually led to the fall of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government headed by the then chief minister H D Kumaraswamy.
Kumaraswamy resigned as the chief minister after losing a trust vote, which paved the way for the BJP-led government in the southern state under Chief Minister B S 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.