Supreme Court to look into plea filed by disqualified Karnataka MLAs against their ouster

ANI New Delhi, India Aug 27, 2019, 12.29 PM(IST)

File photo: Supreme Court of India. Photograph:( ANI )

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In the petition, the legislators termed the then Speaker's decision as 'wholly illegal, arbitrary and mala fide'. 

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that the registrar will look into the urgent listing of the petition filed by 15 disqualified Congress-JD(S) MLAs against their ouster under the anti-defection law from the Karnataka Assembly.

Senior advocate V Giri mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Justice NV Ramana for the urgent listing.

In the petition, the legislators of the former JD(S)-Congress coalition government sought directions to quash the order passed by former Karnataka Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar rejecting their resignation and disqualifying them from the Assembly.

In the petition, the legislators termed the then Speaker's decision as "wholly illegal, arbitrary and mala fide".

The petitioners also asserted that their resignations were "voluntary and genuine".

"Not only had they themselves submitted their resignations on July 6, but also appeared in person before the Speaker and submitted their resignation afresh on July 11 in accordance with the directions of the apex court passed on the same day," the plea submitted.

The ousted legislators further contended that the former Speaker rejected their resignation on "wholly extraneous grounds".

"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," the petition said.

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 disqualified 17 rebel MLAs, days after the Congress-JD(S) government collapsed after losing the confidence motion in the Assembly.

The leaders were disqualified by the Speaker, 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."