Three-judge bench to hear Karnataka Independents' case

Three-judge bench to hear Karnataka Independents' case

According to the court registrar's office, Chief Justice J.S. Khehar has constituted the full bench with Justice Mohan Shantanagoudar, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice A.S. Bopanna to hear the disqualification case afresh.

The full bench had to be set up after a division bench of Justice Khehar and Justice N. Kumar delivered a split verdict Oct 18 in a similar case against the 11 lawmakers of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The division bench also heard the Independents' disqualification case till Oct 12 but adjourned after they were asked to submit an amended writ petition in place of the flawed original petition.

The Independents, who were all ministers in the 34-member cabinet of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, are Shivaraj S. Tangadagi, Venkataramanappa, P.M. Narendra Swamy, D. Sudhakar and Gulihatti Shekar.

Shekar was dropped from the ministry Sep 22 while the remaining four were sacked Oct 6 after they submitted a joint letter to state governor H.N. Bhardwaj, withdrawing support to the 29-month-old BJP government - the party's first both in the state and south India -   and expressing lack of confidence in Yeddyurappa.

The court's third judge, Justice V.G. Sabhahit, however, upheld Friday the disqualification of the 11 rebel BJP legislators under part 2(1)(a) of the 10th Schedule of the constitution, pertaining to the anti-defection law.

Assembly Speaker K.G. Bopaiah also served show-cause notice to all Independents Oct 8 and gave two days to reply why they should not be disqualified from the legislative membership after they revolted against the state government.

Though Khehar rejected an interim petition of the Independents Oct 13, disallowing them to vote in the special session Oct 14 for the floor test of the government, he ruled that the trust vote outcome would be subject to the court's decision in the disqualification case.

Yeddyurappa won the confidence motion for the second time by the division of votes with 106 in favour and 100 against in a reduced house of 209 members, including one nominated, three days after winning the first trust vote by voice vote Oct 11 amid bedlam.

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