Bangalore: The final hearing on the petition
filed by five Independent MLAs challenging their
disqualification from the Assembly membership will commence
in the Karnataka High Court on Monday.
The court last week ruled that the outcome of the October
15 trust vote of the B S Yeddyurappa Government would be
subject to its final decision on this petition.
The BJP government has won the vote of confidence with 106
members (excluding the Speaker K G Bopaiah) supporting it and
the opposition logging 100 votes in a House with an effective
strength of 208.
This meant that even if the five independents earned legal
reprieve in the case, the government would continue to have
the numbers in its favour.
The Speaker has defended the disqualification of the five
(who have thrown in their lot with the opposition), saying
Independents joining any other political party are liable to
"(An) Independent should remain as independent till his
term is over," he said on October 11 after the first trust
vote taken by the Yeddyurappa government, adding, according to
the documents provided by the Independents, they have joined a
particular political party.
While government sources have expressed confidence that
the disqualification would be upheld, the opposition is hoping
that the Court would set aside the Speaker`s order.
The high court has reserved orders on the petitions filed
by 11 rebel BJP MLAs, challenging their disqualification.
Congress today attacked the Chief Minister for his
announcement that the Cabinet would be expanded soon,
contending that "legally he has no powers to do so" when the
case regarding disqualification of MLAs and Governor H R
Bhardwaj`s recommendation for central rule are pending before
the court and President Pratibha Patil, respectively.
"He (Yeddyurappa) can`t do it (cabinet expansion) till the
Court gives its verdict, and also as long as the Governor`s
recommendation is pending," President of Karnataka Pradesh
Congress Committee R V Deshpande told reporters.