Attorney General KK Venugopal on Friday recused himself from the case filed by an AIADMK member of the O Panneerselvam camp asking for another trust vote in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, media reports have said.
Tamil Nadu trust vote case: Attorney General KK Venugopal recuses himself from rendering legal opinion to court in the case
— ANI (@ANI_news) July 7, 2017
The plea filed by K Pandiarajan, considered to be close to former chief minister O Panneerselvam, sought to set aside the 18 February trust vote in the State Assembly on grounds that MLAs had voted "under distress".
Venugopal told the Supreme Court that he had already given his legal opinion to the Panneerselvam camp in this matter and therefore it would not be appropriate for him to assist in the case, News18 reported.
The Supreme Court, the report added, accepted the attorney general's request and Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar will now assist the top court.
"Inform the solicitor general about the recusal. Ask him to assist in the matter," the apex court bench consisting of Dipak Misra and AM Khanwilkar said, and posted the matter for further hearing on 11 July, according to PTI.
The apex court on 5 July had sought the attorney general's assistance to examine the AIADMK MLA's plea after senior advocate Gopal Subramanium claimed that MLAs had voted in the trust vote under distress and members of Opposition were evicted by marshals from the Assembly.
Subramanium had said that there should have been a secret ballot but the Tamil Nadu Speaker, P Dhanapal, had rejected this demand during the trust vote. The AIADMK MLA has challenged the decision and sought a direction for quashing the Speaker's decision rejecting their demand to determine the outcome of the floor test, PTI reported.
E Palaniswami was sworn in as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu on 16 February after a bitter power struggle between Panneerselvam and Sasikala. In the trust vote that followed on 18 February, Palaniswami won the poll 122-11 in the 234-member Assembly. He was helped by the eviction of the main Opposition DMK and a walkout by its allies, amid stormy scenes during which mics were uprooted, chairs toppled and sheets of papers torn and hurled around.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Jul 07, 2017 13:10 PM