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SC Decision on Wednesday to seal the fate of 17 disqualified MLAs

The Supreme Court is set to pass the judgement on disqualification of 17 Karnataka MLAs by the previous Assembly Speaker. The bench comprising Justices NV Ramana, Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari will now be listing the disqualification case for j...

ET Bureau|
Nov 11, 2019, 11.11 AM IST
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Bengaluru: The Supreme Court will on Wednesday deliver its judgement on the disqualification of 17 Karnataka MLAs by the previous Assembly Speaker, probably bringing an end to the uncertainty the group has been battling for the past three months.

The MLAs, who had challenged their disqualification in the top court, had also sought postponement of the December 5 by-election in the state, as the Speaker had also barred them from contesting elections until the term of the current Assembly ends. With the bench comprising Justices NV Ramana, Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari now listing the disqualification case for judgement, the plea seeking postponement of the by-election is expected to become infructuous.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission will set into motion the by-election process by notifying the schedule of events on Monday.

Returning officers will start accepting the nomination papers from Monday and the last date for accepting nominations will be November 18. If the disqualified MLAs get relief from the apex court, they will still have time to contest the bypolls. They are keeping their fingers crossed because any adverse judgement can derail their political career.

The BJP was able to form the government in Karnataka in July because 14 MLAs from the Congress and three from the Janata Dal (S) tendered their resignations from the Assembly, reducing the then JD(S)-Congress regime into a minority. The then Speaker, KR Ramesh Kumar, had not accepted their resignation and, instead, disqualified them from the Assembly membership on charges of anti-party activities, and barred them from contesting elections until 2023 when the term of the current Assembly ends.

The EC has announced bypolls to only 15 Assembly segments. Election of MLAs to the remaining two constituencies is a subject matter of court litigation and hence, the EC is waiting for a verdict.

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