14 disqualified rebel Congress, JD(S) leaders move SC

New Delhi: Rebel Congress-JD (S) leaders from Karnataka on Thursday moved the Supreme Court challenging their disqualification as MLAs from the state assembly. A total of 17 rebel MLAs were disqualified from the House ahead of the July 29 trust vote moved by then chief minister H D Kumaraswamy.

Kumaraswamy lost the floor test, paving way for a BJP-led government in the state under BS Yediyurappa. Two rebel Congress leaders -- Ramesh Jharkhiholi and Mahesh Kumathalli -- and an independent leader R Shanker, who were disqualified on July 25, had moved the apex court on July 29. Other 14 rebel MLAs were disqualified on July 28 by then Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar.

After the fall of the Congress-JD (S) government on July 29, Ramesh Kumar had resigned as the Speaker. The disqualified JD(S) MLAs -- AH Vishwanath, K Gopalaiah and Narayana Gowda -- filed a joint petition challenging the July 28 decision of disqualification by K R Ramesh Kumar.

Congress MLAs who approached the apex court are Prathap Gouda Patil, BC Patil, Shivaram Hebbar, ST Somashekar, Byrathi Basavaraj and Munirathna.

Other Congress leaders who were also disqualified are Roshan Baig, Anand Singh, MTB Nagaraj, Sudhakar and Sand Shrimant Patil. They have sought direction for quashing and setting aside the order of the Speaker rejecting the resignations tendered by them.

In the petition, they also narrated the sequence of events leading to their disqualification and sought a direction to call for records of the proceedings before the Speaker, pertaining to the resignation and disqualification proceedings against them.

The rebel leaders alleged that the decision taken by Ramesh Kumar before his resignation as Speaker was wholly "illegal, arbitrary and malafide" exercise of his power under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution.

They also questioned his decision to reject their resignations by holding that it was not voluntary and genuine.

They alleged that the Speaker had acted in haste as he had received a letter from the party to take action accordingly, adding the action of the Speaker is thus in violation of Fundamental Rights of the petitioners.

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