Justice Mohan M. Shantanagoudar, one of the judge hearing the case of disqualification of Karnatka legialsorts rescued himself from the hearing today. The judge said that since he hails from Karnataka only, his conscience does not allow to rule the case on the matter.
Owing to the conscious decision on conflict of interest, the judge stepped back from the bench. The other judges hearing the case were Justice N.V. Ramana and Justice Ajay Rastogi. Even though Kapil Sibal (appearing for the former Speaker) insisted on the judge’s stay, the judge convened that he couldn’t be a part of this bench. The hearing of the case will now take place next Monday.
The case pertains to the disqualification of 17 MLAs from Karnataka assembly by the then Speaker Ramesh Kumar. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi is appearing or the disqualified leaders.
Previously, the Supreme Court had refused to hear the plea on the matter. Justice N.V. Ramana while hearing the petitions had asked senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi “It will come. What is the urgency?
What is the case?
Former Speaker of Karnataka legislative assembly, KR Ramesh Kumar had disqualified 17 legislators of the Congress–JD(s) coalition under anti-defection law stated in 10th schedule. The MLAs are now demanding the court to quash the orders of their disqualification by KR Ramesh Kumar dated July 28, 2019, since their resignations were “genuine and voluntary” in nature. The filed plea claimed that the leaders had submitted their resignations themselves on July 6.
Disqualified leaders include disqualified legislators include Byrati Basavraj, Anand Singh, R Roshan Baig, Muniratna, K Sudhakar, MTB Nagaraj, Pratap Gouda Patil, Shrimant Patil, Ramesh Jarkiholi, BC Patil, Shivaram Hebbar, ST Someshekhar, Mahesh Kumatahalli and R Shankar from the Congress and JD(S) legislators AH Vishwanath, Gopalaiah and Narayana Gowda.
The MLAs in their petition has argued that the Speaker’s move to disqualify them is arbitrary. The leaders claimed that the move is violative of their fundamental rights under Article 14 and Article 19 of the Indian Constitution.