SC dismisses Karnataka chief whip plea on disqualification row

Last Updated: Thursday, December 16, 2010 - 23:22

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday
dismissed an appeal of the Karnataka government`s chief whip
challenging a high court order allowing disqualified
Independent MLAs to amend their petition and application for
putting additional grounds.

A bench of justices Altamas Kabir and Cyriac Joseph
said the appeal lacked merit and dismissed it accordingly.
The high court had allowed the plea of Independents,
to amend the petition to replace the sentence "the petitioners
had never left the BJP" with "the petitioners had not joined
the BJP at all".

They had contended that the original sentence was an
"inadvertent mistake".

The petition filed by BJP`s chief whip in the
Assembly, D N Jeevaraju and deputy chief whip V T Ravi had so
challenged the high court order.

The bench had earlier sought response from the
Independents - P M Narendraswamy, Shivaraj Thangadagi,
Gulihatti D Shekhar, Venkataramanappa and D Sudhakar.

It asked the high court not to hear the matter till
further order.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi had earlier argued on
behalf of the BJP chief whip the high court`s order allowing
the amendment would change the nature of the petition filed by
the independents before the High Court.
Senior advocate P P Rao and Jeetender Mahapatra,
appearing for the Independent MLAs, maintained that it was a
bonafide mistake.

The high court had earlier on October 29 upheld the
disqualification of the 11 BJP MLAs by the Speaker but a
decision regarding the disqualification of the Independent
MLA is pending adjudication which is a subject matter of
another writ petition.

Justice V G Sabhahit, to whom the division bench
headed by chief justice J S Khehar had referred the matter,
upheld Speaker K G Bopaiah`s order disqualifying the dissident
BJP MLAs.

The High Court had taken the view that the Speaker`s
order of disqualification was in accordance with Para 2 (1)
(a) of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution--anti-defection
law.

The division bench, which included Justice N Kumar,
had earlier given a split verdict with Kumar setting aside the
Speaker`s order. The bench had then referred the matter to the
third judge.

BJP, which has been plagued by dissidence in its
Karnataka unit, had scraped through in a confidence vote in
the Assembly on October 14 after 16 disqualified MLAs,
including independents, were kept out of the Assembly.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, December 16, 2010 - 23:22

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