Karnataka's disqualified MLAs seek deferment of bypolls

Karnataka's disqualified MLAs. (DH photo)

Karnataka's disqualified MLAs on Friday moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Election Commission to further postpone bypolls on 15 Assembly seats, since the judgment on their fate was still awaited.

The top court agreed to consider the application on Wednesday, November 13.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for petitioners, mentioned the plea before a bench presided over by Justice N V Ramana.

He said filing of nominations for bypolls, scheduled on December 5, would begin from Monday, November 11 and end on November 18 but the judgment on their writ petitions against their disqualification was yet to come.

He sought urgent hearing on Wednesday on the application filed by them in this regard.
"You file the application, we will see," Justice Ramana told the counsel.

Following the oral mentioning, the court ordered, "The Registry is directed to list the said application on Wednesday, November 13, 2019, subject to curing of defects by the petitioner.
We direct the petitioner to serve a copy of the interlocutory application to the counsels appearing for the respondents immediately."

The top court had on October 25 reserved the judgment on petitions filed by 17 rebel MLAs from Congress and JDS against their disqualification by then Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar after their resignation, leading to fall of JDS-Congress government in July.

The then Speaker had debarred them from being members of the remaining term of the Legislative Assembly.

During the hearing on their pleas, the Election Commission had agreed and subsequently issued notification to postpone bypolls from October 21 to December 5 as the top court said it wanted to decide the matter finally, instead of passing any interim order. The disqualified MLAs, for their part, wanted to file nomination papers in the bypolls.

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