India

SC refuses to pass order on plea to list petitions by 17 disqualified Karnataka MLAs

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to pass an order on a plea to list a batch of petitions filed by 17 disqualified MLAs from Karnataka challenging their ouster from the State Assembly by former Speaker Ramesh Kumar under the anti-defection law.

“It will come. What is the urgency?” Justice N.V. Ramana asked senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi for the former legislators.

Mr. Dwivedi sought an order from the court, pointing out that the case was listed on September 16 but was later inexplicably deleted.

The former legislators, including Pratapgouda Patil and A.H. Vishwanath, have approached the Supreme Court jointly and separately.

Their separate petitions have arraigned the then Speaker, the State of Karnataka, Congress Legislature Party leader Siddaramaiah and State Congress president Dinesh Gundurao, former Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy as respondents.

The petitions urged the court to set aside the former Speaker’s decision to disqualify them from the Assembly.

“The petitioners have a fundamental right under Article 19 to carry on any trade, business and profession. Their right to resign from the post of MLA and carry on any vocation of their choice, including public service, cannot be denied by the Respondent Speaker by a completely illegal and unconstitutional order. The action of the Speaker is thus in violation of the fundamental rights of the Petitioners guaranteed under Articles 19 and 21,” they have argued.

They have also challenged the then Speaker’s conclusion that their resignations were neither voluntary nor genuine. The legislators asked the Supre

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