October 16, 2021

Karnataka HC issues disqualification of MLC Vishwanath till May 2021

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The Karnataka High Court continues to stand on its order issued for disqualification as an MLA of Bharatiya Janta Party’s MLC A H Vishwanath under the anti-defection law. So, he cannot be appointed as a minister presently.

A division bench headed by chief justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Vishwajith Shetty, amid the petition presented by advocate A S Harish said Vishwanath had received disqualification with the charges under Article 164(1) (b) and Article 361 (B) of the Constitution, and will be held till the end of the legislative tenure by May 2021.

Regarding the other two MLCs R Shankar and MTB Nagaraj got some relief as the court noted that their disqualification did not get along post their election to the legislative council.

After considering the petition, the court stated, “It is not prima facie established that R Shankar and N Nagaraj have been disqualified under Article 164 (1) (b) and 361(B). We hold that A H Vishwanath, ex-facie attracts disqualification under Article 164 (1) (b) and Article 361 (B).”

The bench iterated that the Chief Minister will have to consider disqualification of Vishwanath. The court said, “Even if a recommendation is made by the Chief Minister, then the Governor is bound to consider the aspect of disqualification incurred by A H Vishwanath.”

The three MLCs, Vishwanath, Shankar and Nagaraj belong to the category of the 17 MLAs who were subjected to disqualification from the Karnataka Assembly, which triggered the decline of the Congress and JD(s) alliance, headed by ex chief minister H D Kumaraswamy. Shankar and Nagaraj belong to the Congress Party and Vishwanath had the JD(S) ticket. Post their disqualification, the three of them joined BJP, who made them the MLCs.

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