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Karnataka: 17 Cong-JD(S) rebel MLAs to remain disqualified, can contest bypolls, says SC

Delivering the judgement on rebel Karnataka MLAs challenging the orders of the then Assembly speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to disqualify them, SC judge Justice NV Ramana said, "We are upholding the order of the Speaker."

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Karnataka: 17 Cong-JD(S) rebel MLAs to remain disqualified, can contest bypolls, says SC
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The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday stayed the decision to disqualify 17 Karnataka MLAs by the then Speaker KR Ramesh but did not bar them (MLAs) from contesting 2023 polls.

Delivering the judgement on rebel Karnataka MLAs challenging the orders of the then Assembly speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to disqualify them, SC judge Justice NV Ramana said, "We are upholding the order of the Speaker."

Supreme Court said that it is equally binding on the government and the opposition, adding "we do not appreciate the manner in which the petitioners came to the court".

However, the top court in its order said the 17 Karnataka MLAs can contest the by-elections in the state.

The MLAs have also challenged Speaker Ramesh Kumar's decision to disqualify them.

A bench headed by Justice NV Ramana heard their pleas and reserved its verdict on October 25.

Voting for 15 assembly seats will take place on December 5 and votes will be counted on December 9 for the by-elections.

The Election Commission had announced these dates on September 27 in view of the pendency of the petitions filed by the disqualified lawmakers. The bypolls to 15 assembly seats earlier scheduled for October 21 but were postponed to December 5 as the matter was pending in the top court.

Out of the 17 constituencies that fell vacant, by-polls for 15 seats was announced by EC on September 21. Election to two seats – Maski and RR Nagar - were withheld as election petitions in this regard were pending in the Karnataka High Court.

The decision to postpone the date of the elections was taken as hearing on disqualified MLA's plea to allow them to contest elections was still on the top court. The MLAs have also challenged Speaker Ramesh Kumar's decision to disqualify them.

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