No illegality in Cong councillors violating party whip in Madikeri CMC polls: SC

The Supreme Court has upheld the High Court of Karnataka's orders, finding no illegality in Congress party councillors voting against the party whip in the elections to the post of president and vice-president in City Municipal Council, Madikeri.

A three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice Dipak Misra noted that the executive committee of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) has passed a resolution on January 10, 2004, empowering the party state president to issue whip. Under the Indian National Congress party's Constitution, the KPCC president can delegate the power to the party general secretary or can directly pass it to the president, District Congress Committee.

However, in the instant case, the state president authorised the secretary to ask the President, District Congress Committee to issue whip.

"The state president could have delegated the power to the president, District Congress Committee, but he delegated his power to the secretary with power to delegate to issue whip to the District Congress Committee, which is not correct," the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, said.

The court dismissed the special leave petition filed by President (acting), District Congress Committee, Madikeri, represented by advocate Ankolekar Gurudatta, against the high court's judgement of July 31.

The high court's division bench had confirmed the single bench order, that had set aside the deputy commissioner's order of March 1, disqualifying party councillors Srimathi Bangera and Veenakshi for voting against the party candidates to the post of President and Vice-President in the City Municipal Council elections held on September 9, 2016.

The high court had held that the state president was not authorised to empower the general secretary to further sub-delegate his power to the president, District Congress Committee.

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