Karnataka court upholds 11 BJP legislators’ disqualification

Friday, October 29, 2010

BANGALORE - The Karnataka High Court Friday upheld the disqualification of 11 rebel lawmakers of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from the state legislative assembly by Speaker K.G. Bopaiah.

Justice V.G. Sabhahit upheld the speakers Oct 11 decision under part 2(1)(a) of the 10th schedule of the Constitution, pertaining to the anti-defection law.

Justice Sabhahit is the third judge who heard the disqualification case after a division bench of Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and Justice N. Kumar delivered a split verdict Oct 18.

The 11 disqualified legislators are Gopalakrishna Beluru, Anand Asnotikar, Balachandra Jarkiholi, B.N. Sarvabhouma, Bharamgowda H. Kage, Y. Sampangi, G.N. Nanjundaswamy, M.V. Nagaraju, Shivan Gowda Nayak, H.S. Shankaralinge Gowda and Bellubbi Sangappa Kalappa.

The speaker disqualified the rebel legislators on an Oct 8 petition of the ruling party after they submitted a letter to state Governor H.R. Bhardwaj Oct 6, withdrawing support to the first BJP government in south India and for expressing lack of confidence in the leadership of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.

Along with the 11 legislators, five Independents were also disqualified on the same grounds after the speaker served show-cause notice Oct 8 and gave them time till Oct 10 to explain why they should not be disqualified for indulging in anti-party activities.

The disqualifications of the 11 rebel NJP lawmakers and five Independents came only hours before Yeddyurappa was to take the confidnece vote in the assembly. The vote by voice was marred by bedlam in the house.

Of the 11 BJP legislators, Asnotikar and Jarkiholi were ministers as were four of the five Independents in the 34-member cabinet.

The disqualification case of the five Independents is scheduled to be heard Nov 2 by another division bench, which is yet to be constituted by the chief justice.

The five disqualified Independent members of the assembly are Shivaraj S. Tangadagi, Venkataramanappa, P.M. Narendra Swamy, D. Sudhakar and Gulihatti Shekar.

On the direction of the governor, Yeddyurappa, however, took another trust vote Oct 14 by division of votes and won it with 106-100 margin in a house with effective membership of 209, including one nominated and two legislators abstaining from the special sessions.

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