Chennai: In a major relief to the ruling AIADMK, the Madras High Court on Thursday upheld Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal's decision to disqualify 18 rebel AIADMK MLAs, owing allegiance to expelled leader and AMMK Founder TTV Dhinakaran, under the provisions of the Anti-defection law.
Madras HC Upholds Disqualification Of 18 Rebel AIADMK MLAs
Dismissing the writ petitions filed by the legislators challenging the Speaker's September 18, 2017 order, third Judge M Sathyanarayanan, who was appointed by the Supreme Court following a split verdict in the case on June 14, concurred with the findings of the then Chief Justice Ms Indira Banerjee that the court could not interfere in the ruling of the Speaker.
The Judge also vacated the interim order issued during the split verdict that restrained the Election Commission from holding byelections to the 18 seats, which were declared vacant by Speaker. It may be recalled that while Ms Banerjee had upheld Mr Dhanapal's decision to disqualify the dissident MLAs, Justice M Sundar disagreed with her.
The court said till the third judge pronounces the verdict, no floor test would be conducted in the Assembly and the stay on holding bypoll to 18 seats would continue in view of the split verdict.
Following the split verdict, Ms Justice S Vimala of the High Court was appointed as the third judge to hear the matter.
However, on a plea by some of the disqualified MLAs seeking to transfer their cases from the High Court to the Supreme Court, Mr Justice Sathyanarayanan was named as the third Juge to hear the matter.
While the AIADMK welcomed the judgment and said it was prepared to face the elections whenever it was conducted by the Election Commission (EC), the Opposition DMK wanted holding of immediate bypoll to all 20 seats, including two which were lying vacant.