Tamil Nadu

HC refrains from suspending stay order in breach of privilege case

The first Division Bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday refrained from suspending an order of interim stay passed by a single judge on September 24 restraining Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly’s Committee of Privileges from proceeding against DMK president M.K. Stalin and 17 other MLAs of his party in the gutkha sachets display issue.

Chief Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, however, granted liberty to the Assembly Secretary as well as the Privileges Committee to move an application before the single judge to vacate the stay. The liberty was granted pursuant to writ appeals preferred by them against the single judge’s stay order.

The Bench made it clear that the present appeals against the stay order would not stand in the way of the single judge considering applications for vacating the stay.

Simultaneously, it also ordered notices, returnable by four weeks, to Mr. Stalin and other MLAs on the individual writ appeals filed by the Assembly Secretary and the Privileges Committee.

Advocate General Vijay Narayan, representing the Assembly Secretary, brought it to the notice of the Bench that show cause notices were issued to the DMK MLAs for breach of the privileges of the House in 2017.

In the same breath, the Bench had permitted the Committee of Privileges to issue fresh notices.

Without appreciating that fact, the single judge had stayed the fresh notices in September this year when they were challenged by the MLAs, the A-G said.

On his part, senior counsel A.L. Somayaji, representing the Privileges Committee, said the single judge should not have even entertained the writ petitions filed by the DMK MLAs challenging the fresh show cause notices since no pure question of law had been raised in them. He requested the Division Bench to order suspension of the single judge’s stay order.

However, wondering whether such a course would be appropriate without hearing the other side, the Chief Justice permitted the appellants to move the single judge once again with a plea to vacate the stay.

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Printable version | Oct 30, 2020 7:37:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/hc-refrains-from-suspending-stay-order-in-favour-of-dmk-mlas-in-breach-of-privilege-case/article32848620.ece

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