The Supreme Court has once again rejected a plea by the 17 disqualified MLAs of Karnataka, who sought an urgent hearing on the matter of their disqualification. 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.
Rejecting a prayer by their legal representative on Friday, Justice NV Ramana said,"What is the urgency? It will come in due course." The case has not been listed for a future date yet.
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.
These rebels initially represented by former Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi, 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 disqualified them.
The 17 rebels 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.
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. 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.
Incidentally, K Sudhakar, among the rebels, is the chief of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Bord, as recommended by the earlier coalition government. But even his appointment is under scrutiny of the Karnataka High Court.