New Delhi, Nov 13 : The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld disqualification of 17 Karnataka MLAs from the 16th Legislative Assembly in July, but struck down term of disqualification, allowing them to contest upcoming polls.
A bench of Justices N V Ramana, Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari announced the verdict. The disqualified Karnataka MLAs had filed petitions after former Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar passed an order to disqualify them ahead of the trust vote in July. As many as 14 Congress and three JD(S) MLAs, who had quit their Assembly seats in July this year and paved the BJP to form the government in Karnataka, were disqualified. Mr Kumar had said in his order that the MLAs cannot contest elections until the term of the current assembly ends in 2023.
After losing the trust vote, former Karnataka chief minister H D Kumaraswamy resigned, paving the way for the BJP-led government in the state under BS Yediyurappa. On October 25, the bench had reserved its verdict on the petitions filed by these disqualified MLAs. Bypolls to 15 out of 17 assembly seats in Karnataka, which became vacant following disqualification of MLAs, are scheduled on December 5. UNI