Justice Sabhahit to hear Karnataka BJP legislators’ case


Bangalore: Justice V.G. Sabhahit of the Karnataka High Court will Wednesday hear afresh the disqualification case of the 11 ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rebel legislators as decided by the division bench after it delivered a split verdict on it Monday.

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According to the high court registrar’s office, Chief Justice K.S. Khehar appointed Justice Sabhahit to head the single bench for hearing the case as the division bench, headed by him (Khehar) and Justice N. Kumar, differed on the decision of state assembly Speaker K.G. Bopaiah in disqualifying the 11 BJP legislators and five independents.

Kheher upheld the Oct 11 decision of the speaker to disqualify the lawmakers for revolting against the party and expressing lack of confidence in Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa while Kumar quashed it.

The bench also referred the disqualification of the five independents to another division bench, which will take up their case Nov 2. Judges for the new bench are yet to be appointed.

Though Khehar and Kumar upheld the speaker’s power to disqualify the rebel legislators on three grounds, both differed on the application of the section 2(1)(a) of the 10th schedule of the Anti-Defection Act, 1985 in the case.

The three grounds were not giving the legislators seven days’ time to reply to the speaker’s show-cause notice as against two days given; that the disqualification was against the principles of natural justice and that the speaker had mala fide intention to act against them.