The Supreme Court upheld the decision by Karnataka Assembly Speaker to disqualify 17 rebel Congress-Janta Dal (Secular) MLAs but allowed them to contest the December 5 bypolls. These MLAs were disqualified by Speaker KR Ramesh Kumar after their revolt led to the collapse of the JDS-Congress coalition government. Fourteen of the rebel MLAs of the Congress and three of the JDS were disqualified under the anti-defection law by the Speaker in July. While the Supreme Court upheld the disqualification, the court struck down the portion of the Speaker's order by which the legislators were disqualified till the end of the 15th Karnataka Assembly. The top court passed the verdict on petitions filed by these disqualified MLAs.
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