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The Karnataka High Court Monday rejected the plea of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa not to make him a party to a petition of five Independent lawmakers who have challenged their disqualification from the assembly.

A three-judge bench of Justice Mohan Shantanagoudar, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice A.S. Bopanna ruled that the chief minister be made a party to the case and adjourned the hearing till Nov 28.

Yeddyurappa had contended that he had no role in the disqualification of the lawmakers and hence the issue was between them and the speaker of the assembly.

The chief minister ‘is not a party before the speaker’, Yeddyurappa’s counsel argued. Counsel told the court that the decision to disqualify lawmakers was based on the complaint of voters.

The five Independent lawmakers were disqualified Oct 10 by Speaker K.G. Bopaiah on the basis of the complaint by five voters, who said these legislators had betrayed their voters by rebelling against Yeddyurappa.

The five Independents along with 11 lawmakers of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party wrote to Governor H.R. Bhardwaj Oct 6 they no longer had confidence in Yeddyurappa.

Bopaiah disqualified all the 16 lawmakers Oct 10, a day ahead of the trust vote sought by Yeddyurappa. The chief minister won a second trust vote Oct 14 as the first one on Oct 11 was termed by Bhardwaj to be not in order.

The disqualification of the 11 has been upheld by the high court.

The five Independents are Shivaraj S. Thangadagi, D. Sudhakar, Gulihatti D. Shekhar, Ventakaramanappa and P.M. Narendraswamy.

The three judges had Nov 2 issued notices to the five voters, the speaker and the chief minister to respond to the Independent lawmakers’ petition challenging their disqualification.


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