Bangalore(JPN): In a relief for embattled Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, the state High Court on Monday upheld the suspension of independent MLAs from the state Assembly late last year.

The five MLAs, along with 11 BJP MLAs, had pulled back support from the Yeddyurappa government, citing dictatorial style and corruption at top. Assembly Speaker KG Bopaiah had inturn suspended all the MLAs on defection grounds, a decision which was challenged by those affected.

Their suspension had saved the government as the number of members in Assembly came down, helping the BJP government survive the no-confidence motion.

The order had been reserved on February 1 by a court bench comprising A S Bopanna, Mohan Shantanagoudar and S Abdul Nazeer, after concluding hearing from both parties.

The five MLAs names are: PM Narendraswamy, Venkataramanappa, Gulihatti Sekhar, D Sudhakara and Shivaraj Tangadagi. Their appeal to the court was that since they were not BJP members, they could not be disqualified.

BJP exults in HC decision

Exulting in High Court decision upholding the Karnataka Assembly Speaker's ruling to disqualify five independent MLAs, the BJP today said it was a victory over the "unholy" alliance of Congress and JD(S).

"The action of honorary Speaker is vindicated by this decision of the High Court. Law has prevailed and justice has been done. This is a victory of sorts against the unholy alliance of the Congress and JD(S) which has miserably failed in destabilising the government," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.

The Karnataka High Court upheld Speaker K G Bopaiah's decision disqualifying five independent MLAs who withdrew support to the BJP government in the state ahead of the October 11 trust vote which Yeddyurappa won.

The disqualified MLAs had maintained that they were 'Independent' so the anti-defection law did not apply to them but the BJP insisted that they had joined it and attended its legislature party meetings.

Along with these five independents, 11 BJP MLAs had also voted against the Yeddyurappa government. They were also suspended by the Speaker.