Karnataka High Court
Karnataka High Court
Litigation News

Karnataka HC issues notice in plea challenging induction of 3 members of State Legislative Council to Cabinet of Ministers

The petition alleges that the three MLCs were given entry into the Legislative Council with the sole purpose of inducting them into the Council of Ministers, even though they had lost in the by-elections.

Rintu Mariam Biju

The Karnataka High Court on Monday issued notice in a PIL challenging the induction of three Members of the State Legislative Council (MLCs) - R Shankar, AH Vishwanath, and N Nagaraj - into the Council of Ministers.

Notice has been issued to the state government, the Governor, and the Chief Minister.

Though petitioner advocate Prince Isac pushed for interim relief against any likely process to induct the said MLCs as Ministers, a Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Abhay S Oka refused to pass the same.

The petition alleged that the three MLCs were given entry into the Legislative Council with the sole purpose of inducting them into the Council of Ministers, even though Vishwanath and Nagaraj had lost in the by-elections in their respective Assembly constituencies after their disqualification.

Moreover, Shankar did not even contest in the Assembly election, the petition averred.

"Absolutely the Respondents Nos. 05 to 07 are not eligible or entitled to allow them to secure illegal entry to take on oath as Ministers in the council of Ministers", reads the plea.

In order to become eligible to be appointed as a Minister, a disqualified member of the Assembly will have to get “re-elected” to the same House during the same period in which he was disqualified, by contesting in an election from the Assembly constituency, the petition states.

"State Government of Karnataka is tying their haunch and loin to accommodate ineligible candidates Respondents Nos. 05 to 07 was for political reasons and nor for any purpose intended by the makers of the institution", adds the plea.

It was further contended that the State was making preparations to administer the oath of affirmation to the ineligible MLCs so as to accommodate them in the Cabinet. This is a clear violation of the provisions of the Representation of Peoples Act, states the plea.

The petition also placed reliance on a 2019 Supreme Court judgment which made it clear that a disqualified candidate can be considered for elevation to the Council of Ministers only if he or she is re-elected from the same constituency, and not otherwise.

Further, it was contended that the impugned action of the state government gave larger scope for the general public to lose faith and confidence in the administration, and therefore, warranted the interference of the Court.

Based on the aforesaid grounds, the plea seeks to prohibit the conduct of oath of affirmation of the three MLCs as Council of Ministers, unless all the respective conditions are properly met.

The matter will be next heard on September 23.

[Read plea]

three MLCs - Kar HC.pdf
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