SC agrees to hear plea of rebel Karnataka MLAs seeking to contest bypolls
New Delhi, Sep 33: The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Karnataka Assembly Speaker, on hearing plea of 17 disqualified Karnataka MLAs to allow them to contest by-polls scheduled on October 21. The apex will continue to hear the matter on 25th September.
A three-judge bench, headed by justice N V Ramana, said it would hear on September 25 the plea in which the disqualified MLAs 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 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 15 assembly segments will go to polls on October 21 and counting of votes will be held on October 24. Seven of these are in north Karnataka.
Last week, the apex court had refused to pass an order on the listing of pleas filed by 17 disqualified Congress-JD (S) legislators against their removal from the Karnataka Assembly.
The petitioners urged the court to set aside the former Speaker's order to reject their resignation and disqualify them from the Assembly. In the petition, the legislators termed the then Speaker's decision as "wholly illegal, arbitrary and mala fide.