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BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday ordered issue of notices to Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and Speaker of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly K.G. Bopaiah, on petitions by five independent MLAs challenging their disqualification from the membership of the Assembly.
A Full Bench of the Court comprising Justice Mohan Shantangouder, Justice S. Abdul Nazir and Justice A.S. Bopanna ordered issue of notices to Mr. Yeddyruppa and Mr. Bopaiah and adjourned further hearing of the case to November 8.
The Bench also ordered issue of notices to the five voters who had filed complaints against the independent legislators.
Earlier, the Bench heard K.G. Raghavan, senior counsel for the legislators, submit that their plea for amending the petition had been allowed by an earlier Bench of Chief Justice J.S. Khehar, and Justice N. Kumar.
The independents said they were never members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and, therefore, they could not be disqualified from the membership of the Assembly. “We only supported the BJP Government as independents and not as party members,” they said.
They said the Speaker had erred in passing the orders on October 10, 2010, disqualifying them from the membership of the Assembly.
The independent legislators D. Sudhakar, Venkataramanappa, Goolihatti Shekar, M.P. Narendraswamy and Shivaraj Tangadgi said the BJP had set up five voters from their constituency to file petitions seeking their disqualification.
These petitions, they said, were sent to the Speaker who disqualified them on that basis. The voters have no right to seek our disqualification and it is only the members of the Legislature who have this right, they said.
The petitioners also filed an application seeking to implead Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyruppa in the case. They said it was Mr. Yeddyruppa who had forwarded petitions against the rebel BJP legislators and them to the Speaker for taking action.
The Bench, which was constituted on October 30, 2010, said it would first issue notice and then proceed with the matter as Mr. Bopaiah and Mr. Yeddyurappa have so far not been served (notice). It ordered issue of notices to Mr. Bopaiah and Mr. Yeddyurappa and adjourned further hearing of the petitions to November 8. It also posted to November 8, a batch of applications by the independents. BJP leader C.T. Ravi was present in court.
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