Some of these disqualified MLAs had argued in the apex court that they have an "indefeasible right" to resign as members of the assembly and the decision by the then Speaker to disqualify them smacks of "vengeance" and "mala fide".
The Supreme Court is scheduled to pronounce on November 13 its verdict on the pleas of 17 disqualified Congress-JD (S) MLAs of Karnataka challenging the orders of the then Assembly speaker K R Ramesh Kumar to disqualify them. A three-judge bench of justices N V Ramana, Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari had on October 25 reserved its verdict on the petitions filed by these disqualified MLAs. Kumar had disqualified these 17 MLAs of ruling the Congress-JD(S) coalition ahead of a trust vote in July.
The then chief minister H D Kumaraswamy had resigned after losing the trust vote, which paved the way for the BJP-led government in the state under B S Yediyurappa. By-polls to 15 out of these 17 assembly seats which fell vacant following the disqualification of MLAS are scheduled on December 5 and candidates are required to file their nomination papers between November 11 and November 18.
These disqualified MLAs have recently approached the apex court seeking a direction to the Election Commission to postpone the assembly by-polls for these 15 seats till the pronouncement of verdict in the matter.
Some of these disqualified MLAs had argued in the apex court that they have an “indefeasible right” to resign as members of the assembly and the decision by the then Speaker to disqualify them smacks of “vengeance” and “mala fide”.
During the arguments in the matter, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Karnataka Congress, had contended that the then Speaker, who was the master of the Assembly, had exercised his jurisdiction to disqualify these MLAs and his decision cannot be questioned.
Sibal had also submitted that “the matter needs to be referred to a Constitution bench as it raises matters of grave constitutional importance”.
The incumbent Karnataka Assembly Speaker had earlier told the top court that he has no difficulty in hearing these 17 MLAs and take a “fresh call” on the issue. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the office of the Karnataka Assembly Speaker, had submitted that under the scheme of Constitution, a lawmaker has a right to resign and the Speaker should accept it. The current Assembly Speaker is V Hegde Kageri.