New Delhi: Karnataka MLAs have found refuge in the Supreme Court as two Congress rebels, Ramesh Jarkiholi and Mahesh Kumathalli, on Monday moved it seeking directions to quash the Karnataka Assembly Speaker’s decision to disqualify them from the House.
Earlier, the MLAs had moved the court seeking directions to the Speaker to accept their resignation from the Assembly.
Independent MLA R. Shankar also moved a separate plea in the court seeking directions to quash the disqualification order passed against him by Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar, who rejected his resignation and instead disqualified him from the Assembly for the entire term under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution.
The petitioners have challenged the Speaker’s action against them as it violated their Constitutional right under Article 190. They termed this action arbitrary, unreasonable and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution, which relates to fundamental rights.
The petitioners contended that the order issued by the Speaker was contradictory in itself “as it holds on the one hand that the petitioners appeared before him and submitted their resignations in person and on the other hand goes on to hold that the resignations are not voluntary and genuine”.
As a result, the order by the Speaker was illegal and in violation of the principles of natural justice.
“The impugned order is not in consonance with the provisions of Rules 6 and 7 of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly (Disqualification of Members on Ground of Defection) Rules, 1986, inasmuch as they were not given seven days’ notice before the matter was taken up for hearing,” the MLAs said in the petition.
The MLAs also pointed out that the Speaker in the case of Umesh Jadhav demonstrated that pendency of disqualification proceedings would be a hurdle in acceptance of resignation.
“The purported finding of the Speaker that the petitioners had been making efforts for defection of MLAs from the then ruling party by offering money, power is wholly erroneous and is based on no evidence,” claimed the MLAs, rejecting the ground for disqualification.
The petitioners have urged the court to call records in connection with their resignation and disqualification proceedings.