Karnataka: Disqualified MLAs seek urgent hearing in Supreme Court
The MLAs termed then speaker KR Ramesh Kumar's act as "wholly illegal, arbitrary and mala fide action"
A plea filed by the disqualified Karnataka legislators challenging the membership termination in the assembly was reportedly mentioned before a Supreme Court bench on Tuesday for an urgent hearing. The legislators have approached the top court challenging the decision after were disqualified by then Karnataka Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar as per the anti-defection law.
A single-judge bench of Justice Arun Mishra informed that the Registrar would examine the plea. On August 1, the disqualified Congress-JD(S) MLAs had moved the Supreme Court seeking to quash Kumar's order disqualifying them for the rest of the term of the present Assembly.
The petition, filed through advocate Shubhranshu Padhi, had sought setting aside of Ramesh's July 28 order rejecting their resignations, in which they termed his action as "wholly illegal, arbitrary and mala fide action". They also claimed that their resignations were "voluntary and genuine".
"The Speaker has grossly erred in holding that the resignations of the petitioners were not 'voluntary and genuine'. It is submitted under Article 190 of the Constitution read with Rule 202 of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly, a member can deliver a resignation signed in his own hand and the Speaker is only to satisfy himself about genuineness and voluntariness of the resignation," the plea mentioned.
"It is pertinent to state that the petitioners have also filed affidavits before this court in the earlier proceedings stating that they have resigned voluntarily and their resignations may be accepted. And yet the Speaker has rejected the resignations submitted by the petitioners on wholly extraneous grounds," the petitioner was quoted as saying in a PTI report.
The ousted legislators alleged that Ramesh took the decision in "undue haste". The petition further said, "the Speakers' insistence on them attending the proceedings before him on the date of the trust vote clearly speaks volumes of the manner in which the disqualification proceedings have been conducted against them." They also urged the court to call for the records of the proceedings before the then Speaker pertaining to the resignation and disqualification.
Kumar had reportedly disqualified 17 rebel MLAs, days after the Congress-JD(S) government collapsed after losing the confidence motion in the Assembly. The leaders were disqualified, stating that they have "incurred disqualification under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution (anti-defection law) and the disqualification would last till the end of the term of the Assembly May 23, 2023."
With inputs from PTI
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