Assembly Speaker K. G. Bopaiah had disqualified the independents after they withdrew their support to the BJP government
Karnataka High Court on Tuesday issued notices to Speaker K.G. Bopaiah and other respondents on petitions filed by five independent MLAs challenging their disqualification from the Assembly and posted the matter for further hearing on November 8.
The notices were issued by a full bench comprising Justices Mohan Shantanagoudar, S. Abdul Nazeer and A.S. Bopanna, before which the case was referred by a division bench headed by Chief Justice J.S. Khehar, last month.
The independents had withdrawn their support to the BJP government following which Bopaiah had disqualified them on October 10.
In the main petition, the independents challenged the Speaker’s order. They also later moved an amended petition contending that in the original one there were some mistakes wherein it was inadvertently stated that the independents had never left the BJP, so there was no question of their disqualification.
In the amended petition, this sentence was changed to “the petitioners have not joined the BJP at all.“
The independents filed another petition last week contending that the Speaker had erred in disqualifying them on the basis of representations made by five voters (the respondents) in their respective constituencies.
Counsel for the independents, P.P. Rao, submitted before the bench on Tuesday that the voters had no “locus standi” in seeking disqualification of MLAs.
Meanwhile, the court has ordered issue of notice to Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on an application filed by the independents on tuesday seeking to implead him as a party in the petition which challenged the Speaker’s October 10 order based on representation of the voters.
The BJP had formed its first-ever government in the South with the support of the independents.
It now has a strength of 106, including the Speaker in the 224-member Assembly. It also enjoys support of the lone independent, Varthur Prakash. Congress has 71 and JD(S) 27.
On October 21, the court had rejected the plea of independents to allow them to vote in the second trust vote the next day, but had said that the result of motion of confidence would be subject to its final verdict.
After a split verdict, the third judge, Justice V.G. Sabhahit,had last week upheld the disqualification of 11 rebel BJP MLAs who had withdrawn support