Bypolls: SC questions Cong for moving HC

The Supreme Court on Tuesday questioned the Karnataka Congress leaders for approaching the high court with regard to bypolls to Assembly seats following disqualification of 17 MLAs, when the matter was pending before the top court.

“How can you file a petition when matter is pending here,”  a three-judge bench presided over by Justice N V Ramana asked senior advocate
Shashi Kiran Shetty, appearing for petitioners including Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dinesh Gundu Rao. The court also pointed out the order for deferring the bypolls from the previous scheduled date of October 21 was passed in presence of the counsel.

On Tuesday, the court asked the poll panel to file an application for staying the proceedings before the high court.

“We will pass order, you file an application,” the bench, also comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari, told senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, representing the Election Commission. The top court decided to take up the matter on Wednesday.

Dwivedi submitted that two petitions have been filed in the high court. One was for cancellation of fresh notification on bypolls and another for seeking a direction to let the code of conduct continue in the state. He said the HC had put those matters for consideration on Friday.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the present Speaker, submitted till the Supreme Court was seized up of the matter, there should be stay on the proceedings before the high court.

Senior advocate V Giri, representing some of the disqualified MLAs, said in all fairness, the high court should not proceed in the matter.

Shetty, for his part, submitted that the questions raised in petitions before the high court were significant as the government continued to make appointments to various boards in this period. He said the top court may transfer those petitions to itself.

 

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