SC judge recuses himself from disqualification case of Karnataka MLAs

The Supreme Court on Tuesday postponed the hearing of pleas of disqualified Karnataka MLAs challenging former Assembly Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar’s decision to disqualify them after Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar recused himself from the hearing.

The court adjourned the matter for hearing to September 23 after Justice Shantanagoudar, who hails from Karnataka, said that his “conscience” did not allow him to hear the case.

Last week, the apex court had refused to pass an order on the listing of pleas filed by 17 disqualified Congress-JD (S) legislators against their removal from the Karnataka Assembly.

The petitioners urged the court to set aside the former Speaker’s order to reject their resignation and disqualify them from the Assembly.

In the petition, the legislators termed the then Speaker’s decision as “wholly illegal, arbitrary and mala fide.”

“Not only had they themselves submitted their resignations on July 6, but also appeared in person before the Speaker and submitted their resignation afresh on July 11 in accordance with the directions of the apex court passed on the same day,” the plea submitted.

The Karnataka Assembly Speaker had disqualified 17 rebel MLAs, days after the Congress-JD(S) government collapsed after losing the confidence motion in the Assembly.

While disqualifying the leaders, the Speaker had stated that they have “incurred disqualification under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution (Anti-Defection law).

The disqualification would last till the end of the term of the Assembly May 23, 2023.

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