AIADMK MLAs disqualification case: SC appoints M Satyanarayanan as third judge after split verdict

The Supreme Court has refused to transfer the case of the disqualification of 18 Tamil Nadu MLAs from Madras High Court to Supreme Court. SC has now assigned a new judge Justice M Satyanarayanan in the case, in Madras High Court.

 AIADMK MLAs disqualification case: SC appoints M Satyanarayanan as third judge after split verdict

File image of Supreme Court. AP

The Supreme Court declined to prescribe a time frame to decide the case, according to News18 reports. A vacation bench comprising justices Arun Mishra and SK Kaul passed the order on a plea by some of these disqualified MLAs who were seeking transfer of their petition challenging their disqualification by the Tamil Nadu Assembly speaker from the Madras High Court to the apex court. "We consider it appropriate to assign the case on a difference of opinion to Justice M Sathyanarayanan. He will hear the matter and decide it," the apex court said.

The Supreme Court on Monday had agreed to hear on 27 June a plea filed by 18 disqualified AIADMK MLAs seeking transfer of their case from the Madras High Court to the apex court after the split verdict by the high court.

A division bench of Madras High Court comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar delivered divergent verdicts on whether the 18 MLAs deserved to be disqualified under the anti-defection law by Speaker P Dhanapal on 18 September last year for approaching the Governor and seeking the removal of Chief Minister E Palaniswami. Banerjee upheld the Speaker's decision but Sundar disagreed.  There will be no fresh elections in 18 constituencies and no floor test until the decision of the third judge. The court had ruled that the senior-most judge after the high court Chief Justice would now hand-pick a third judge, who will hear the matter afresh.

In her 200-page order, the chief justice had upheld the Speaker's decision, saying, "In my opinion, the view taken by the Speaker is a possible, if not plausible view, and I am unable to hold that the said decision is any way unreasonable, irrational or perverse. Justice Sundar on the other hand, in his 135-page order, struck a dissenting note, insisting that Dhanapal's order "deserved to be set aside on grounds of perversity, non-compliance with principles of natural justice, mala fides and violation of the constitutional mandate".

Satyanarayanan was appointed as an Additional Judge of the Madras High Court on 23 April, 2008 and as permanent Judge on 9 November, 2009. He has conducted cases cases relating to civil, criminal matters-trial and appellate sides-original jurisdiction cases in city civil court/high court and before the DRT and Central Administrative Tribunal. He was associated with KS Dinakaran, an eminent criminal side lawyer, and assisted him in several cases.

With input from PTI

Updated Date: Jun 27, 2018 12:54:55 IST