The Madras High Court on Monday dismissed the appeal of six DMDK MLAs who were suspended from attending the session for six months by the State Legislative Assembly last March.
The First Bench, comprising, Acting Chief Justice R.K.Agrawal and Justice M.Sathyanaryanan said, “There are no merits in the writ appeal. A perusal of the proceedings of the Privileges Committee as well as the Legislative Assembly would disclose that a fair procedure was adopted before taking the decision to suspend them for a period of six months.”
The six legislators — V.C. Chandhira Kumar, P. Parthasarathi, T. Murugesan, K. Nallathambi, S. Senthilkumar and R. Arulselvan — were suspended from the Assembly in March this year.
They challenged the suspension before the High Court. By an order of June 5, a single Judge dismissed the writ petition. He had ruled that there were no merits in the petitioners’ contention.
Aggrieved, the six filed the present appeals.
In their appeal, they contended that the single Judge in his order had stated that denial of salary and other privileges like voting in an election were neither constitutional rights nor fundamental rights and in such circumstances, it was not open to the petitioners to contend that as these rights are affected, the impugned proceedings were violated. Hence, the impugned order of the single judge was liable to be set aside, they contended.
Rejecting the contentions of the appellants, the Bench observed that it could not be said that the principles of natural justice had been given a complete go-by. Therefore, it could not be said that they had been condemned.
The Bench added that now that the appellants had already undergone the suspension period of six months, there could not be any impediment on their right to attend the Assembly session and get salary and other privileges attached to the office.