Bangalore, November 2: The Karnataka High Court today issued notice to state Assembly Speaker K G Bopaiah on petitions filed by five Independent MLAs, challenging their disqualification from the Assembly.
A bench comprising Justices Mohan Shantanagouder, S Abdul Nazeer and A S Bopanna also posted the matter for further hearing on November 8. The independents had withdrawn their support to the BJP government following which Bopaiah had disqualified them.
The independents, with whose support BJP formed its first-ever government in the South, have maintained in their petitions that they did not attract anti-defection laws as they were elected as independents, not on BJP’s symbol.
BJP has argued that the independents, inducted into the ministry had become part and parcel of the party as they had attended legislature party meetings and accepted whip in the Rajya Sabha biennial polls.
The BJP has a strength of 106, including the Speaker in the 224-member Assembly. It also enjoys support of the lone independent, Varthur Prakash. Congress has 71 and JDS 27.
On October 21, the court had rejected the plea of independents to allow them to vote in the second trust vote the next day, but had said that the result of motion of confidence would be subject to its final verdict.
After a split verdict, the third judge, Justice V G Sabhahit, had last week upheld upheld the disqualification of 11 rebel BJP MLAs who had withdrawn support.