Chennai: The Madras High Court today declined to grant an interim stay on suspension of 79 DMK MLAs from the state Assembly but issued notice to the state Chief Secretary on petitions filed by leader of the opposition MK Stalin and another DMK member.
The petitions challenged their en masse suspension from the Assembly and sought a direction to declare all proceedings and actions taken as illegal, ultra vires and unconstitutional.
Declining to pass an interim order, the First Bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice R Mahadevan, said, "Since it is a matter of function of the House and the order has been passed by the Speaker, we are not inclined to pass interim orders.
"But there will be no question of making the prayer infructuous as ultimately the validity of the resolution would have to be decided as it may have other ramifications," it said.
The bench directed the petitioners-Stalin and DMK MLA Thiagarajan — to serve private notices to the Speaker, P Dhanapal, and the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Secretary, and posted the matter for further hearing to 1 September.
When the matter came up, senior counsel for Stalin, Mohan Parasaran submitted that it was for the first time in the history of the Assembly that a resolution had been passed suspending en masse all opposition DMK MLAs.
In his plea, Stalin sought an interim direction to permit him and other suspended members to attend and participate in the present session.
He submitted that the blanket resolution to suspend all DMK members, who had signed the attendance register on the date was without any basis or material. He said the majority of DMK members, including he himself, were not in the House when the resolution was passed by voice vote.
He submitted that the resolution was later modified to include the DMK members who had been present and those who had not signed the attendance register and alleged that the Speaker's action was "unprecedented, motivated and biased which completely undermines democracy".