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Justice Shantanagoudar said his conscience did not let him hear the case as he was from Karnataka.

The wait just got longer for the 17 disqualified Karnataka MLAs, who had approached the Supreme Court to quash their disqualification, with one of the judges recusing himself from the case.

According to reports, Justice MM Shantanagoudar recused himself citing that he was from Karnataka even as all parties in the case said they did not have objections. But Justice Shantanagoudar insisted that his conscience is not permitting him to hear the case. 

Justice Shantanagoudar before being elevated as a Supreme Court judge in 2017 has served in Karnataka in various positions in the state. While starting his legal career in Dharwad, he had practised extensively in Bengaluru and became the Chairman of Karnataka State Bar Council and also the Public Prosecutor of Karnataka. He was appointed as an additional judge in the Karnataka High Court in 2003 and became a permanent judge within a year. He went onto become the Chief Justice of Kerala High Court before he was elevated to the Supreme Court.

The wait just got longer for the 17 disqualified Karnataka MLAs, who had approached the Supreme Court to quash their disqualification, with one of the judges recusing himself from the case.

According to reports, Justice MM Shantanagoudar recused himself citing that he was from Karnataka even as all parties in the case said they did not have objections. But Justice Shantanagoudar insisted that his conscience is not permitting him to hear the case. 

Justice Shantanagoudar before being elevated as a Supreme Court judge in 2017 has served in Karnataka in various positions in the state. While starting his legal career in Dharwad, he had practised extensively in Bengaluru and became the Chairman of Karnataka State Bar Council and also the Public Prosecutor of Karnataka. He was appointed as an additional judge in the Karnataka High Court in 2003 and became a permanent judge within a year. He went onto become the Chief Justice of Kerala High Court before he was elevated to the Supreme Court.

Read: Wait for disqualified MLAs in Karnataka grows, SC rejects urgent hearing again

The case will be heard by a different bench on September 23.

Earlier on September 12, an SC bench led by Justice NV Ramana had declined an urgent hearing on the matter.

The 17 include Pratap Gouda Patil, BC Patil, Shivaram Hebbar, ST Someshekhar, Byrati Basavraj, Anand Singh, R Roshan Baig, Muniratna, K Sudhakar, MTB Nagaraj, Shrimant Patil, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Mahesh Kumatahalli and R Shankar from the Congress and JD(S) legislators AH Vishwanath, Gopalaiah and Narayana Gowda.

 These MLAs of the former JD(S)-Congress combine had resigned from their positions to pave way for the BJP to form a government in the state.

Initially represented by former Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi, they had approached the apex court to quash and set aside former Speaker Ramesh Kumar’s order dated July 28, 2019, which rejected the resignations of the rebels and instead disqualified them. The disqualification order states that the 17 MLAs cannot contest elections until the term of the Assembly is over. This means that the 17 rebels will have to wait for the upcoming Assembly polls in 2023.

The MLAs are hoping for a favourable verdict as they want to contest the bye-elections in the 17 constituencies, which are due to be held within six months since the disqualification.

If their disqualification is not set aside by the Supreme Court, then their prospects of getting inducted into Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa’s cabinet could be affected.