'We only sought leadership change'

Disqualified MLAs submit they havent resigned from the party membership

The disqualified MLAs on Wednesday in their submission before the third judge said that they did not resign from the membership of the party, but had only sought change in leadership.

Former Advocate General and Senior Counsel B V Acharya appearing for Anand Asnotikar and Balachandra L Jarkiholi, described the Speaker’s decision to disqualify the MLAs as ‘vitiated’ and ‘perverse’ and pointed out that the action of the petitioners did not attract relevant provisions of the anti-defection law.

Mentioning that the speaker relied upon the circumstances, which were second in nature, he submitted that the application by the Chief Minister had malafide intention and was aimed at threatening the dissidents to bring them back to the ruling party.

Earlier K G Raghavan, counsel for Belur Gopalakrishna, MLA from Sagara and the first petitioner submitted that the petitioners action does not amount to anti-defection.
“They have just lost confidence in the Government,” he said.

Citing Justice N Kumar’s order, Raghavan, submitted they had only expressed dissent, which is ingrained in the Tenth schedule of the Constitution. "Dissidence is the essence of Democracy it is ingrained in  Article 2(1) (A). It can be expressed within the party or outside the party. Inside or outside the house,” he said.

Referring to the BJP MLAs' October 6 letter to the Governor withdrawing support to the B S Yeddyurappa government, the counsel said, "It is an honest expression of an anguish in a manner known to law and the contention of the Speaker that this has a reference to Article 356 of the Constitution has no substance."

He said that the members never sought an alternative government nor they supported any other party, but had clearly stated that they wanted to impose the President’s rule.
Pointing to the orders of Chief Justice, he said that the members have not betrayed the trust of people, but have instead acted to help clean the government.

Legislators duty bound

Senior counsel Prof Ravivarma Kumar, appearing for Dr S Sarvabhowma Bagali and other the remaining submitted that the legislators and ministers have taken oath under the constitution and discharge the duties under the constitution.

“If any maladministration in the state or their leader is not conducting administration under the provisions of the Constitution, the legislators and minister are duty bound to inform the same to the Governor.”

He said that they have only discharged their constitutional duty by complaining to the Governor on maladministration of the chief minister.

Kumar taking jurisdictional issue in connection with the order of the Speaker, said that there is a serious error in the complaint by the Chief Minister to Speaker against the eleven MLAs.

“In the complaint Chief Minister had stated that on October 5, MLAs have complained to the Governor, which is false, as there was no complaint to the Governor on October 5.

Kumar also submitted that action of the Chief Minister was malafide, as he did not dispute the allegations of the disqualified MLAs regarding corrupt administration.

He also sought direction to summon the relevant documents from Speaker’s office. But the court declined such request and asked the petitioner to file a necessary application in this regard.

The matter has been adjourned to Thursday.

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