K’taka HC summons disqualification records maintained by Speaker
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,
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withdrawn support to the Chief Minister by submitting a letter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
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".