Karnataka MLC disqualified for being appointed as minister: HC

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News: Karnataka High Court has held that Member of Legislative Council(MLC) Vishwanath stands disqualified under the anti-defection law and hence cannot be inducted into the state cabinet.

Facts:

  • Background: A petition was filed in the court alleging that AH Vishwanath had been appointed as member of the Legislative Council(MLC) for the sole purpose of making him minister despite the fact that he had lost the bye-polls.
    • The petitioner argued that he was still disqualified as per the Supreme Court judgement which upheld former Assembly Speaker’s orders for disqualification.
    • The plea maintained that a disqualified member can become eligible to hold the position of a minister only if they win the bye-elections from the same constituency.
  • What was the judgement: The Karnataka High Court has held that AH Vishwanath has incurred disqualification under Article 164(1B) and Article 361 B of the Indian Constitution.

Additional Facts:

  • Article 164(1B): It states that any member of the Legislative Assembly either the house or the council, belonging to any political party, if disqualified as a member of the Assembly, shall also be disqualified to be appointed as a Minister for the period of their disqualification.
  • Article 361B– It states that a member of a House belonging to any political party who is disqualified for being a member of the House under Tenth Schedule shall also be disqualified to hold any remunerative political post for duration of the period commencing from the date of his disqualification till the date on which the term of his office as such member would expire or till the date on which he contests an election to a House and is declared elected whichever is earlier.
  • Anti-defection law: It is contained in the 10th Schedule of Constitution.It was enacted by Parliament in 1985.It lays down the process by which legislators may be disqualified on grounds of defection by the Presiding Officer of a legislature based on a petition by any other member of the House.
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