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Court puts rider on ‘move’ to induct three MLCs as Ministers

The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday put a rider on the ‘move’ of the State government to induct three MLCs — Shankar, A.H. Vishwanath, and N. Nagaraju (MTB) — into the Council of Ministers by stating that all steps taken on issues raised in the PIL petitions, challenging legality of their election/nomination to the State Legislative Council, would be subject to orders to be passed by the court.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice S. Vishwajith Shetty passed this order after it was brought to the notice of the court by senior advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioners, that “there are indications that these three MLCs are likely to be inducted into the Council of Ministers shortly.”

“As petitions are pending, it is obvious that all steps taken during the pendency are subject to further orders of the court,” the Bench observed in its order.

However, the Bench said that it can pass any order on interim plea of the petitioners to restrain the government from inducting them as Ministers during the pendency of petitions only after detailed hearing on the constitutional validity of their election/nomination to the Council.

Meanwhile, the Bench recorded the assurance of the Advocate-General that records of nomination of Mr. Vishwanath, as directed by the court earlier, would be placed before the court during next date of hearing on November 19. The Bench also gave last chance to the government to file its statements.

The petitioners have alleged that the trio were given entry into the Legislative Council through back door after their disqualification from the Legislative Assembly only to appoint them as Minister while contending that the manner of their entry into the Council is contrary to the provisions of the Constitution.

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