Supreme Court Current Affairs - 2020

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SC Verdict: Karnataka MLA Disqualification case

The Supreme Court on November 13, 2019, pronounced its judgement on the legality of disqualification of 15 dissident MLAs by the then Karnataka Assembly Speaker under Anti-Defection law

Verdict

The Apex Court upheld the disqualification of the MLAs by the speaker. The Court clarified that the disqualification is till their re-election and not till the end of the term of the house as ruled by the speaker.

The speaker had ruled that the MLAs cannot contest in further elections including the by polls to be held in December, 2019 and till the end of the tenure of the 15th Karnataka Assembly

Article 190

It explains the vacation of seats by the members of Houses of legislature of state. The article gives the power for the MLA to resign addressing the speaker. However, the article also gives power to the speaker the power to reject the resignation

Anti-Defection Law

The tenth schedule of the Constitution lays down the process by which legislators can be disqualified on grounds of defection by the presiding officer of the legislature. A MLA is deemed to have been defected

  • if he voluntarily gives up his membership of the party
  • If he disobeys party leadership on a vote

Background – The Politics

In 2018, in the assembly elections of the 224 seats, BJP won 104, INC won 80 and JD won 37. The Janata Dal-Indian National Congress coalition formed the government after 2018 elections. In July 2019, after BJP swept the parliamentary elections (coalition hardly won only 2 seats), 17 MLAs of the coalition submitted resignations to the speaker. Following this the then Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy resigned losing trust vote and B S Yediyurappa was sworn in as the CM, as after resignation, BJP became the single largest party.

The MLAs were disqualified by the speaker to contest elections based on anti-defection law. In July a petition was filed by MLAs challenging their disqualification by the then speaker of the Karnataka Assembly.

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Facts Box: Ayodya Verdict

Supreme Court recently pronounced its judgement on disputed land in Ayodhya in the Ram Janma Boomi-Babri Masjid case. In 5-0 verdict of the 5-bench judgement, SC said that the land should be handed over to the Hindu trust to build a Hindu temple. It also ordered the GoI to allocate 5 acres of land to the Muslim community to build a Mosque

SC’s judgement was based on ASI’s finding. The case was the longest in the history of Supreme Court after Keshvanand Bharti case.

ASI’s findings

  • Under Allahabad High Court’s court, the disputed site was taken by the ASI for investigation
  • On the whole there were 2 excavations conducted at the disputed site. One in 1976 and the other in 2003.
  • ASI found a circular temple that belonged to 7th century
  • ASI said that the disputed Mosque structure was built in 16th century on top of the ruins of the building
  • ASI also found ruins of Buddhist and Jain temples at the site. They were dated after 7th century
  • Among the ruins ASI found the remains of Kushan and Shung period to Gupta period

The Upcoming Ram Temple

  • The current blueprint of the temple finalized by Vishwa Hindu Parishad resembles the original temple
  • A total of 212 pillars are to be erected.
  • The temple will be 128 feet high, 140 feet in width and 270 feet in length.
  • No steel is to be used in the mammoth structure.
  • 75 lakh cubic feet of sandstone will be used.
  • The temple will have 5 entrances.

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