Court
While the Supreme Court refused to direct the Election Commission to defer the polls, it has agreed to hear the MLAs’ plea.

The disqualified MLAs in Karnataka on Friday moved the Supreme Court seeking that the bye-elections in the state be deferred till the court pronounces its decision on their disqualification. The bye-elections are scheduled to be held on December 5. 

The 17 Karnataka rebel MLAs of Congress and JD(S) have moved the court challenging their disqualification by the then Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.

While the Supreme Court refused to direct the Election Commission to defer the polls, it has agreed to hear the MLAs in court. 

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court told the Congress party that the judgement is ready in the Karnataka disqualification case and asked the party to wait for the verdict. The court was hearing the application moved by Congress counsel Kapil Sibal, asking the court to take on record the audio tape, allegedly of Karnataka Chief Minister Yediyurappa, as evidence in connection with the 17 disqualified MLAs' case. 

On October 15, a bench of Justices N V Ramana, Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari, after three days of continuous hearing, reserved its judgement in the case and asked the counsels to submit documents related to the matter.

In July, the then Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar had disqualified the MLAs, rejecting the resignations tendered by them. Those MLAs had remained absent from the House on July 23 when former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy put the confidence motion to vote.

The disqualified legislators had moved the top court, challenging the Speaker's action saying it was in gross violation of the apex court orders, and that it was illegal and unconstitutional. The rebel MLAs stated that the Speaker overreached his mandate under the Constitution while taking a decision on their resignation and then disqualified them against the law and the directions given by the top court.

A battery of senior advocates appeared in the case. Senior advocates Kapil Sibal, Rajeev Dhavan, Devadatta Kamat and K Shashi Kiran Shetty represented Congress and JD(S) parties. Senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi, C A Sundaram, V V Giri, A K Ganguli, K V Vishwanathan appeared for the MLAs.

(With IANS inputs)