PIL filed against foreign trip of Karnataka legislators

A PIL has been filed in the Karnataka High Court praying for the issuance of a writ of mandamus directing the state government to drop a proposed foreign trip of legislators in the wake of severe drought.

The government had planned to send as many as 250 legislators on foreign trip at an estimated cost of Rs 15 crore, “which is not only seems inappropriate but will also cause a huge loss to the state exchequer,” the petitioner said.

“In such a situation instead of giving importance to handle the drought situation and helping the farmers and the public, the legislators are planning a trip to foreign countries, which is very inappropriate…,” he stated. The same amount could be utilised for helping the needy, he said.

In the plea filed yesterday, petitioner H S Neelakantappa, a native of Tarikere taluk in Chikmagalur district, said over 174 taluks in Karnataka were facing severe drought due to less rain.

Karnataka Independent legislators’ case hearing adjourned

A three-judge bench of the Karnataka High Court on Tuesday adjourned to November 8 the hearing of an appeal of the five Independent legislators against their disqualification from the state assembly. Justice Mohan Shantanagoudar, Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice A.S. Bopanna, who took up the hearing Tuesday, ordered issuing of notice to assembly Speaker K.B. Bopaiah seeking his response to the petition of the Independents.

The five were disqualified on October 11 along with 11 ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmakers for expressing lack of confidence in Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa. Of the five, four were ministers at that time. They were subsequently sacked from the ministry.

Disqualification of the 11 BJP lawmakers has been upheld by the Karnataka High Court.

Chief Justice J.S. Khehar constituted the full bench to hear the Independents’ case after a division bench headed by him and comprising Justice N. Kumar delivered a split verdict on October 18 on appeal of the 11 BJP lawmakers.

The court’s third judge, Justice V.G. Sabhahit, however, upheld on October 29 the disqualification of the 11 rebel BJP legislators under part 2(1)(a) of the 10th Schedule of the constitution, pertaining to the anti-defection law.

Justice Khehar and Justice Kumar had heard the Independents’ disqualification case till Oct 12. Since the two differed over disqualification of the BJP lawmakers, they decided to refer the Independents’ appeal to a three-judge bench of the court.

Independents Shivaraj S. Tangadagi, Venkataramanappa, P.M. Narendra Swamy, D. Sudhakar and Gulihatti Shekar were disqualified from the assembly by the speaker on October 11.

Shekar was dropped from the ministry on September 22 while the remaining four were sacked on October 6 after they submitted a joint letter to Governor H.R. Bhardwaj, withdrawing support to the 29-month-old BJP government and expressing lack of confidence in Yeddyurappa.

Yeddyurappa won the confidence motion first on October 11 by voice vote marred by bedlam, and then for the second time on October 13 by the division of votes with 106 in favour and 100 against in a reduced house of 209 members.

Karnataka High Court upholds disqualification of 11 BJP legislators

The Karnataka High Court Friday upheld the disqualification of the 11 rebel legislators of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from the state assembly by Speaker K.G. Bopaiah.

Delivering the judgment in a packed courtroom, Justice V.G. Sabhahit said the rebel legislators stood disqualified under the 10(a) schedule of the anti-defection law.

The BJP government had won the vote of confidence with 106 members supporting it and the opposition logging 100 votes in a House with an effective strength of 208.

This meant that even if the five independents earned legal reprieve in the case, the government would continue to have the numbers in its favour.

Those BJP MLAs , who were disqualified are: Balachandra Jarkiholi, Belur Gopala Krishna, Anand Asnotikar, Dr Sarvabowma Bagali, V Nagaraju, Raje Kage, Y Sampangi, Nanjundaswamy, S K Bellubbi, H S Shankara Lingegowda and Shivanagouda Naik.

Former Ministers Venkataramanappa, Shivaraj Tangadagi, Goolihatti Sekhar and M P Narendraswamy and independent MLAs were also disqualified.