Tamil Nadu

Madras High Court dismisses pleas to disqualify Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, his team of MLAs

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam at the State Assembly in Chennai. File

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam at the State Assembly in Chennai. File   | Photo Credit: . R. Raghunathan

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Petitioners had accused Mr. Panneerselvam and the MLAs of having defied a whip issued by their party for the February 18 trust vote

The Madras High Court on Friday dismissed writ petitions filed by by DMK whip R. Sakkarapani and some of the 18 disqualified AIADMK MLAs, including P. Vetrivel, to disqualify Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and his team of MLAs for having voted against the government led by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami during a trust vote held on the floor of the Assembly on February 18, 2017.

Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose held that issuing such a direction to the Speaker would amount to judicial overreach and encroaching upon the powers of the legislature. They also held that the court could not issue a direction to the Speaker to act upon representations made by the petitioners when he, in his discretion, had chosen not to act.

Though the petitioners had attributed mala fide intention on the part of Speaker P. Dhanapal in not having initiated action against Mr. Panneerselvam and his team of MLAs, the Division Bench refused to go into the veracity of such allegations.

Petitioner allowed to move SC

However, after delivering the verdict, the judges accepted a plea made by senior counsel R. Shanmugasundaram, representing the DMK whip, and gave liberty to the petitioner to file an appeal before the Supreme Court challenging their verdict since the case involved interpretation of constitutional provisions.

The judges reserved their judgement in the case last month after hearing elaborate arguments advanced by both sides. While the petitioners had accused Mr. Panneerselvam and his team of MLAs having defied a whip issued by their party for the trust vote, the latter had claimed that they had not received any such party line whip.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 9:26:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/madras-high-court-dismisses-plea-to-disqualify-ops-team/article23696971.ece

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