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The seventeen MLAs of the Karnataka assembly who were disqualified by the speaker on Friday moved the Supreme Court  for deferment of the bye elections to fill their seats till a final judgement on their case was announced. The court asked them to move a proper application in this regard saying, “You file the application, we will see.”

The Election Commission of India has fixed the by elections for December 5 this year.

Appearing for the petitioners, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi mentioned the plea before a bench presided over by Justice N V Ramana. He said that the bypolls had already been announced and filing of nominations  were scheduled from November 11  to November 18. But the judgement on their writ petitions against their disqualification was yet to come, he told the court and sought urgent hearing  on Wednesday. The court is on recess on Monday and Tuesday.

The apex court had on October 25 reserved the judgement on petitions filed by 17 rebel MLAs from the Congress and JD(S) against their disqualification by the then Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar after their resignation, which led to the fall of Congress-JD(S) coalition government in July. The then Speaker had debarred them from being members of the remaining term of the Legislative Assembly. During the hearing on their pleas, the Election Commission agreed to postpone bypolls from October 21 to December 5 as the top court said it wanted to take a final decision on the matter, instead of passing any interim order.

— India Legal Bureau

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