Speaker acted with vengeance, disqualified MLAs tell SC

Last Updated 23 October 2019, 20:05 IST

Seventeen disqualified legislators of Karnataka on Wednesday contended before the Supreme Court that they have an “indefeasible right” to resign as members of the Assembly and the decision by the then Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar to disqualify them smacks of “vengeance” and “mala fide.”

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing for some of the disqualified MLAs told a three-judge bench headed by Justice N V Ramana that Kumar had “violated” the apex court order by deciding against them for allegedly defying the party whip.

Rohatgi pointed out the Speaker had not given the mandatory seven days to these MLAs to respond to disqualification applications moved against them by Congress and JD(S).

“If a man has guts to resign from the membership of the House, the law should allow him. Public is the master,” he said.

He said even if the disqualification of these MLAs is valid, it will last till next elections and they can contest
the bypolls.

“The motive for my resignation could be anything. He (Speaker) should not be bothered about my motive. He has to only look if the resignation is voluntary and genuine,” he said.

Senior advocate C A Sundaram, appearing for one of the disqualified MLAs, told the bench that the Speaker should not have gone into “imaginary” reasons behind the resignation.

Debarring them to contest polls till 2023 is akin to imposing punishment on them, he added.

(Published 23 October 2019, 17:50 IST)

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