Home India Politics High Court reserves ruling on rebel Karnataka legislators

High Court reserves ruling on rebel Karnataka legislators


Bangalore: A division bench of the Karnataka High Court Tuesday reserved its judgment on the disqualification of 11 ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators and posted for further hearing the joint writ petition of five disqualified independents to Monday.

The bench, headed by Chief Justice K.S. Khehar and Justice N. Kumar reserved the ruling on the BJP dissidents after their defence counsel P.P. Rao and the state government’s counsel Soli Sorabjee concluded the arguments.

In the case of rebel independents, the bench directed its counsel K.G. Raghavan to re-submit their joint writ petition as there was a “mistake” in the contents of the original petition.

The original petition of the independents mentioned that they “never left the BJP”, while in the arguments, their counsel (Raghavan) submitted to the court that that “they never joined the BJP”.

When the contradiction in the oral mistake was brought to the notice of the bench by the state chief minister’s counsel Satyapal Jain, the defence counsel sought the permission of the court to re-submit the joint writ petition.

Though the court permitted re-submission of the joint petition, it declined to stay the disqualification, giving no relief to the beleaguered rebels.

On the argument that the speaker did not give the disqualified members seven days to reply to the show-cause notice, Jain clarified that as per the law, the reply had to be “within” seven days and that the Supreme Court had upheld a similar order giving two days in such a case earlier.

The speaker disqualified the rebels early Monday in response to a petition by the ruling party after they submitted a joint letter to the governor Oct 6, withdrawing support to the 29-month-old first BJP government in the southern state and expressing lack of faith in the leadership of Yeddyurappa.

The disqualification enabled the tottering government to win the trust vote Monday, as the strength of the 225-member assembly, including one nominated member (Anglo Indian), was reduced to 208, with the half-mark to prove majority now becoming 105.

With 11 of its rebels disqualified, the ruling BJP has 106 members, including the speaker, one more than the required number to win the confidence motion.

The strength of the opposition Congress is 73 and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) 28, and independent one, as five other independents remain disqualified.