SC allows MLAs to contest by-polls, upholds Speakers’ decision

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SC allows MLAs to contest by-polls, upholds Speakers’ decision

SC allows MLAs to contest by-polls, upholds Speakers’ decision

SC L S   ¦    Nov 13, 2019 11:45:34 AM (IST)

SC allows MLAs to contest by-polls, upholds Speakers’ decision-1New Delhi/Bengaluru: In its verdict on the 17 disqualified MLAs, the Supreme Court has rejected the plea of disqualified MLAs and upheld former speaker Ramesh Kumar’s decision.

Pronouncing the verdict, the three-judge bench led by Justice N V Ramana said, “Both the ruling as well as the opposition party shall follow ethics. The court can encourage the move of the MLAs. What was the reason for them to approach the Supreme Court at first, without even bringing it to the notice of the Karnataka High Court?”

Upholding the decisions taken by former speaker Ramesh Kumar, the court said, “The decision taken by the Karnataka Assembly Speaker is welcome by the court, but he should have given his decision constitutionally. He cannot pronounce that the disqualified MLAs cannot contest the elections. They have rights to contest the elections.”

The three-judge bench opined, "The speaker has a right to disqualify the MLAs considering the fact that they were a part of ‘horse-trading.’ Both the ruling and the opposition must take this matter into consideration very seriously."

“The speaker cannot decide a time limit so as to till when the MLAs can remain disqualified. He has no right to do so. Until the current assembly dissolves or ends, they cannot be termed as disqualified. Taking into consideration the 17 Assembly constituencies being vacant, the MLAs who were disqualified can contest", it added.

It can be recalled that the 17 MLAs were disqualified by former speaker Ramesh Kumar under the 10th Schedule of the Indian Constitution (Anti-Defection Law).