Panneerselvam faction moves Supreme Court against trust vote proceedings

Petition alleges several violations and seeks to declare null and void the confidence motion won by the Edappadi K. Palaniswamy government.

March 10, 2017 09:05 pm | Updated November 29, 2021 01:33 pm IST - New Delhi

 Panneerselvam during a fast at Egmore on Wednesday .

Panneerselvam during a fast at Egmore on Wednesday .

AIADMK (Panneerselvam faction) MLA and former School Education Minister ‘Ma Foi’ K. Pandiarajan on Friday moved the Supreme Court seeking quashing of the February 18 motion of confidence moved and won by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami.

Mr. Pandiarajan termed the February 18 resolution, in which 122 MLAs voted in favour of the Council of Ministers led by Mr. Palaniswami, as “illegal, capricious, discriminatory and violative of the principle of ‘secrecy’, which is the essence of democracy, free and fair elections, and the voter’s freedom of expression, which constitutes one of the basic features of our Constitution”.

The writ petition sought the Supreme Court to direct the Assembly Speaker P. Dhanapal to conduct a fresh vote of confidence through secret ballot in the presence of independent and impartial observers nominated by the Supreme Court.

“The request for secret ballot to decide the confidence motion was rejected by the Speaker without any justifiable basis especially when there were specific averments and complaints that the MLAs belonging to the AIADMK (including some of the MLAs from the group of 11 MLAs headed by Mr. Panneerselvam) were placed under virtual house arrest and extreme duress and their affirmative vote during the proceedings on February 18 was obtained under the threat of force, fraud and coercion,” the petition submitted.


MLAs not released

Mr. Pandiarajan told The Hindu that a total of 26 grounds have been cited in the plea. “We have raised the issue of how the confidence vote was held in the Assembly, the reason why the Speaker didn’t go for secret voting despite having powers under Rule 286 and how the written communication to the Governor that MLAs would be released soon after swearing-in was not honoured,” Mr. Pandiarajan said and hoped that justice would be in their favour.

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