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August 13, 2019

Rebel Cong-JDS MLAs seek urgent SC hearing of plea challenging disqualification


New Delhi, Aug 13: The Supreme Court asked rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs from Karnataka on Tuesday to hand over to its registrar a memo seeking urgent listing of their plea challenging their disqualification from the state assembly.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra told senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the rebel MLAs, to give the memo to the registrar.

Rohatgi told the bench that all these MLAs have been disqualified and their matter should be listed on August 19 for hearing.

A total of 17 rebel MLAs were disqualified from the House ahead of the July 29 trust vote moved by then chief minister HD Kumaraswamy.

Kumaraswamy lost the floor test, paving the way for a BJP-led government in the state under BS Yediyurappa.

Two rebel Congress leaders - Ramesh L Jharkhiholi and Mahesh Kumathalli - and an independent leader R Shanker, who were disqualified on July 25, had moved the apex court on July 29.

Other 14 rebel MLAs were disqualified on July 28 by then speaker KR Ramesh Kumar.

After the fall of the Congress-JD(S) government on July 29, Ramesh Kumar had resigned as the speaker.

The disqualified JD(S) MLAs -- AH Vishwanath, K Gopalaiah and Narayana Gowda -- filed a joint petition challenging the July 28 decision of disqualification by KR Ramesh Kumar.

The Congress MLAs who have approached the apex court are Prathap Gouda Patil, BC Patil, Shivaram Hebbar, ST Somashekar, Byrathi Basavaraj and Munirathna.

Other Congress leaders who were also disqualified are Roshan Baig, Anand Singh, MTB Nagaraj, Sudhakar and Sand Shrimant Patil.

They have sought direction for quashing and setting aside the order of the speaker rejecting the resignations tendered by them.

In the petition, they have also narrated the sequence of events leading to their disqualification and sought a direction to call for records of the proceedings before the speaker, pertaining to the resignation and disqualification proceedings against them.

The rebel leaders have alleged that the decision taken by Ramesh Kumar before his resignation as the speaker was wholly "illegal, arbitrary and mala fide" exercise of his power under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution.

They also questioned his decision to reject their resignations by holding that it was not voluntary and genuine.

They alleged that the speaker acted in haste as he had received a letter from the party to take action accordingly, his action is in violation of the fundamental rights of the petitioners guaranteed under Articles 19 & 21.

Rebel Cong-JDS MLAs seek urgent SC hearing of plea challenging disqualification


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