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SC upholds former Karnataka speaker’s decision to disqualify 17 Cong-JD(S) MLAs

The legislators had resigned amid growing dissent, toppling the previous Congress-JD(S) rule in July. The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the decision of former Karnataka assembly speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar to disqualify 17 rebel Congress-Janata Dal (Secular), or JD(S), legislators. The apex court, however, rejected Kumar’s decision to disallow the lawmakers from contesting polls.

Seventeen rebel Congress- JD(S) legislators had moved the apex court challenging their disqualification by the then assembly speaker in July.

The legislators had resigned amid growing dissent, toppling the previous Congress-JD(S) rule in July. After days of uncertainty, Kumar not only accepted the resignations but disqualified them, ruling that they cannot return to contest the bypolls. This was challenged by the rebels in the apex court.

The court’s decision came ahead of the bypolls scheduled to be held in 15 assembly seats in Karnataka on 5 December. The Election Commission (EC), in September, had deferred the bypolls until the SC decided the fate of the 17 disqualified legislators. The bypolls were earlier to be held on 21 October.

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