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Nov 13, 2019

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the disqualification of 17 rebel Karnataka MLAs but allowed them to contest the by-elections to be held on December 5.

The legislators had moved the top court against the speaker’s decision to disqualify and bar them from contesting elections under the anti-defection law till the current assembly expires in 2023.

“We are upholding the order of the Speaker [on disqualification],” said a bench of the Supreme Court.

A three-judge bench of the top court, comprising justices NV Ramana, Sanjeev Khanna and Krishna Murari heard the pleas of the lawmakers.

The Congress and Janata Dal Secular lawmakers had resigned their seats in July before shifting to resorts and hotels in Mumbai. The Congress and JD(S) had alleged that they were sequestered, allegedly by BJP leaders, to prevent them from changing their mind.

Their resignations reduced the then JD(S)-Congress government to minority. KR Ramesh, who was the speaker before the HD Kumaraswamy-led coalition government lost its majority, however, ruled that they had violated the anti-defection law and disqualified them till the end of the term.

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