K’taka HC summons disqualification records maintained by Speaker
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Last Updated: Friday, January 28, 2011, 21:27
Bangalore: Karnataka High Court on Friday summoned records maintained by the Assembly Speaker in the matter pertaining to disqualification of five independent MLAs in October last.

A full bench comprising Justice Mohan Shantanagoudar, Justice S Abdul Nazeer and Justice A S Bopanna issued the directive on the petitions by the five MLAs challenging their disqualification by Speaker K G Bopaiah.

"We want to see the records with the Speaker. We want to satisfy ourselves. They must be perused by us, for our conscience. Court is of the opinion that records maintained by the Speaker relating to the disqualification need to be perused," Justice Shantanagoudar, speaking for the bench, said.

The final hearing in the matter was adjourned for Tuesday, when the court is expected to reserve its order (to be delivered at a date to be notified later) on the petitions by P M Narendraswamy, Gulihatti D Shekhar, D Sudhakar,Shivaraj S Thangadagi and Venkataramanappa.

Earlier, the speaker, through his counsel Vijayshankar, submitted that the allegations against him that he passed the disqualification order at the behest and instance of and to favour the Chief Minister was "unsubstantiated, vague, irresponsible, reckless and baseless".

"There was no material on record to substantiate these serious allegations," Vijayshankar, a former state advocate general, contended and stressed that "there is a need for the court to know the sources of information (allegations of malafide against the Speaker by the five)".

Earlier, he made it clear that the Speaker was under no obligation to respond to the notice issued by the Court impleading him in the case and said he was appearing to "advise and assist" the court to "resolve the issue" pertaining to allegations of malafide.

The disqualified MLAs levelled allegations against the Speaker as an "after-thought" and these were liable to be rejected "straightaway", he submitted.

The five were disqualifed on October 10 last year, a day before the vote of confidence was taken by the B S Yeddyurappa Government, which he won.

Days earlier, the five, along with 11 BJP rebel MLAs, had withdrawn support to the Chief Minister by submitting a letter to Governor H R Bhardwaj.

The Speaker had passed the composite order on separate petitions filed by two BJP MLAs C T Ravi and D N Jeevaraj, who is also the Chief Whip of the BJP legislature party, and one voter each from five Assembly constituencies represented by these five MLAs elected as independents, seeking their disqualification.

Counsel for the disqualified MLAs, P P Rao and Ravivarma Kumar, submitted there was no declaration to suggest that they had joined the BJP, and contended that joining the government and attending legislature party meetings did not amount to joining the party.

Rao argued that the Speaker was in a "desperate hurry" to disqualify the five MLAs, and alleged that the action was "stage-managed by the Chief Minister".


First Published: Friday, January 28, 2011, 21:27

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