Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Thursday.  Photo/ANI
Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo/ANI

Congress raises questions on EC move on Karnataka by-polls

Updated: Sep 27, 2019 00:00 IST

New Delhi [India], Sep 26 : The Congress said on Thursday that Supreme Court has not stayed the order of the former Karnataka Speaker KR Ramesh disqualifying rebel JD-S and Congress MLAs and the deferment of the process of scheduled by-polls was unprecedented.
Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said the apex court "interfering" with the process of by-polls announced by the Election Commission was "constitutionally strange".
"The law laid down by the Supreme Court in the last 70 years that I know... they will not interfere with the process of election. Now, the Supreme Court itself is interfering with the process of ongoing election as notified by the Election Commission. To me, it is constitutionally strange, but, Supreme Court is right because they are final and there is no appeal beyond there," Surjewala said.
He was answering queries on the Election Commission telling the apex court that it will defer assembly by-polls in Karnataka till the Court takes a decision on the plea of 17 disqualified MLAs.
The Court deferred the hearing on their plea to October 22. The by-election to fill 15 seats was to be held on October 21.
The resignations by rebel Congress and JD-S MLAs had triggered a political crisis in Karnataka in July this year and led to the fall of the coalition government.
Surjewala said there were "rampant defections mocking at the Constitution as also the entire defection law".
He said an elected government with full majority was "unseated by a group of defectors who were rightfully disqualified in accordance with the jurisdiction of the Speaker."
"Until today, the Supreme Court has not stayed the order of the Speaker. That means, the order must be on the face of it correct. After all, if the order for disqualifying the defectors, who were lured by money and muscle power was wrong then the Supreme Court would be right in staying it," he said.
"Once the order stands, these people stand disqualified and the process of re-election has to come in place. To defer an ongoing process of election is itself unprecedented," he said.

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