14 Rebel Cong-JD(S) MLAs were disqualified from the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) alliance approached the Supreme Court against the Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar’s decision to disqualify them for the term of the present Assembly which expires in 2023.
These include nine MLAs from the Congress — Pratapgouda Patil, BC Patil, Arbail Shivaram Hebbar, ST Somashekar, BA Basvaraja, Munirathna, AH Vishwanath, K Gopalaiah and KC Narayanagowda.
Earlier, two rebel Congress leaders — Ramesh L Jharkhiholi and Mahesh Kumathalli — and an independent leader R Shanker, who were disqualified on July 25, had moved the apex court on July 29.
After the fall of the Congress-JD(S) government on July 29, Ramesh Kumar had resigned as the Speaker.
The petition, filed through advocate Shubhranshu Padhi, also sought setting aside of the Ramesh’s July 28 order rejecting their resignations.
In their petition, the disqualified MLAs termed the then Speaker’s decision as “wholly illegal, arbitrary and mala fide action”. They also submitted that their resignations were “voluntary and genuine”.
“The Speaker has grossly erred in holding that the resignations of the petitioners were not ‘voluntary and genuine’. It is submitted under Article 190 of the Constitution read with Rule 202 of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly, a member can deliver resignation signed in his own hand and the Speaker is only to satisfy himself about genuineness and voluntariness of the resignation,” the plea said.
The petition submitted, “It is pertinent to state that the petitioners have also filed affidavits before this court in the earlier proceedings stating that they have resigned voluntarily and their resignations may be accepted. And yet the Speaker has rejected the resignations submitted by the petitioners on wholly extraneous grounds.”
It alleged that Ramesh took the decision in “undue haste”.
“The Speakers’ insistence on them attending the proceedings before him on the date of the trust vote clearly speaks volumes of the manner in which the disqualification proceedings have been conducted against them,” the petition said.
The plea also urged the court to call for the records of the proceedings before the then Speaker pertaining to the resignation and disqualification.
“The Speaker has acted as a partisan and mala fide manner in the present case in order to protect the government in power which is in a minority,” they said.
On Wednesday, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi mentioned the matter before the Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi for urgent hearing. The CJI said it was not possible today but the hearing can take place on Thursday.