Updated: September 26, 2019 5:32:38 pm
The Election Commission Thursday informed the Supreme Court that it will defer the forthcoming bypolls for 15 assembly constituencies in Karnataka, news agency PTI reported.
The poll watchdog’s statement came after a three-judge bench headed by Justice N V Ramana said it would decide on the plea of 17 disqualified Karnataka MLAs challenging the decision of then-Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar, who had refused to accept their resignations and had instead disqualified them.
Soon after the bench said that it would hear the matter completely and decide it, senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, appearing for the poll panel, said: “Then I will ask the Election Commission to defer it (bypolls for 15 Assembly seats in Karnataka) for sometime”.
The court said it would continue hearing arguments in the Karnataka MLAs disqualification matter on October 22.
Welcoming the development, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president Dinesh Gundu Rao said the Supreme Court is going to look at the real intention of the anti-defection law and the orders of Speaker Ramesh Kumar. “If disqualified MLA’s can contest bypolls, what’s the use of the law,” he asked, adding: “Our case has only got strengthened”.
Last week, the Election Commission had announced the schedule for bypolls in 64 assembly constituencies across 18 states and union territories. The date of polling and counting will be the same as those for assembly polls in Maharashtra and Haryana, which is October 21 and October 24, respectively.
With PTI inputs
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