Referee judge to hear Karnataka legislators’ issue Oct 20

Monday, October 18, 2010

BANGALORE - A single judge bench of the Karnataka High Court will take up on Oct 20 the issue of disqualification of 11 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators after judges on a two-member bench differed on the issue Monday.

While taking up the matter, Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and Justice N. Kumar gave a split verdict Monday.

Chief Justice Khehar upheld Speaker K.G. Bopaiah’s decision to disqualify the 11 legislators following their letter to Governor H.R. Bhardwaj expressing lack of confidence in Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa early this month.

But Justice Kumar quashed the disqualification.

However, the two agreed there was no mala-fide intention on the part of the speaker in disqualifying the legislators.

The two judges also agreed that Bopaiah followed all the rules and procedures and there was no denial of natural justice (giving an opportunity to the aggrieved to present their case).

The disqualification came ahead of a trust vote in the assembly. Yeddyurappa Oct 14 won the second confidence motion in the house with his BJP crossing the halfway mark of 105 by one vote.

The ruling BJP won 106 votes as against 100 by the opposition. The strength of the 225-member house that includes one nominated member was reduced to 208 after 16 legislators were disqualified.

It was the second trust vote in the assembly in a week. The chief minister had won the first confidence motion Oct 11 amid chaotic scenes and confusion.

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