New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned the hearing on the petition filed by 17 rebel Karnataka Congress-JD (S) MLAs challenging their disqualification under the anti-defection law, till tomorrow.
The three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice N V Ramana, will continue hearing the matter on October 25.
Appearing for one of the disqualified MLAs Anand Singh, senior Supreme Court lawyer Sajjan Poovaya said that most MLAs resigned on July 6, but Singh had resigned independently on July 1.
"I am from the INC (Indian National Congress) party. My case is something different than the others," Singh told the SC.
He said that he protested and resigned from the party against the allocation of 3,000 acres of land in the state.
"I had gone to the speaker's office in the state and informed him about my resignation. I was not given the 7 days period," he told the court.
"There was nothing against Singh in the speaker's order," Poovaya submitted before the apex court.
Meanwhile, senior lawyer and former Judge V Giri, appearing for another disqualified MLAs S Balasahib Patel, told the court that there should be an inquiry into the incident.
"The speaker's order should be respected always, but at the same time, we should also see that there is no violation of natural justice to anybody," Giri told the court.
"I am at the hospital and can't go to attend assembly due to my health concern. I was not given seven days notice period, I am from Congress party," the MLA's lawyer told the court.
Giri further submitted that Patel is still in Congress and that the disqualification doesn't apply to him and it has to be void.
"Anti-defection doesn't apply when 2/3 rd members decide to shift their party," Giri told the court.
The Election Commission had earlier deferred the assembly by-polls in Karnataka to December 5 as the case pertaining to the disqualification of 17 MLAs from the state is in the Supreme Court.
The 17 MLAs were disqualified in July by then speaker KR Ramesh Kumar and barred from contesting polls for the duration of the assembly, which ends in 2023. It had led to the fall of the Congress-JD(S) coalition government in the state headed by the then chief minister HD Kumaraswamy.