Karnataka: SC to consider leaked audio clip in MLA defection case

The deserting of 17 congress-JDS MLAs had triggered the discussion on anti-defection laws in India and why it needs a relook. 

Supreme court on Tuesday said that it would consider the leaked audio clip where Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa has spoken about the role of home minister Amit Shah in successfully keeping the 17 MLAs in Mumbai for more than a month. The deserting of 17 congress-JDS MLAs had triggered the discussion on anti-defection laws in India and why it needs a relook.

Congress leader Kapil Sibal had approached the top court with a viral video that shows Yediyurappa responding to opposition within the party to the BJP giving tickets to rebel MLAs from the Congress and Janata Dal-Secular for the December 5 by-polls to 15 seats. In this tape, Yediyurappa is purportedly seen speaking about a BJP role in the resignation of the 17 rebel legislators that led to the fall of the HD Kumaraswamy government.

The top court had last month completed hearing arguments and reserved its verdict on petitions challenging the disqualification of 17 Karnataka MLAs before the trust vote of the HD Kumaraswamy government.

The Congress filed a new request after the viral video emerged to back up its allegation of a BJP role in the resignation of the rebel MLAs. The Speaker hadn’t accepted their resignation requests and disqualified them under the anti-defection law which was seen to bar them from contesting elections during the life of the current assembly.

The Kumaraswamy-led JD (S)-Congress coalition government lost the trust vote in July this year after 15 legislators of the two parties resigned in the first week of July, claiming that the ruling dispensation had failed to fulfill the aspirations of the people of the state. The BJP had then assumed the power with Yediyurappa as the chief minister.

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