New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday deferred for October 23 the hearing on the petition filed by 17 rebel Karnataka Congress-JD (S) MLAs challenging their disqualification under the anti-defection law.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice N V Ramana rendered the order. As the by-polls to 15 Karnataka seats are slated to take place in December, the MLAs had requested for an interim order to allow them to contest in the elections.

The seats had fallen vacant after they were disqualified and debarred from being a member of the legislative assembly by former speaker Ramesh Kumar earlier this year.

Earlier the elections were scheduled to take place on October 21 but were deferred to December 5 by the Election Commission.