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The Supreme Court will on Wednesday deliver its verdict on the pleas filed by 17 disqualified Congress-Janata Dal Secular MLAs of Karnataka challenging the orders of the then Assembly speaker KR Ramesh Kumar to disqualify them. A three-judge bench of Justices NV Ramana, Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari had on October 25 reserved its verdict on the petitions filed by these MLAs, who were disqualified ahead of a trust vote in July.

Former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy had resigned after losing the trust vote, which paved the way for the BJP-led government in the state under BS Yediyurappa. Bypolls to 15 out of these 17 assembly seats which fell vacant following the disqualification of MLAS are scheduled on December 5 and candidates are required to file their nomination papers between November 11 and November 18.

These MLAs have recently approached the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Election Commission to postpone the assembly bypolls till its decision on their disqualification.

In the 224-member assembly, where the majority mark is 113, the BJP has 105 MLAs and the support of one independent. The Congress and the JDS have decided to fight these elections separately and not as a coalition.

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