Madras HC verdict on AIADMK MLAs LIVE updates: The Madras High Court on Thursday upheld the Speaker's decision to disqualify the 18 rebel AIADMK MLAs.
Madras HC verdict on AIADMK MLAs LATEST updates: The Madras High Court on Thursday upheld the Speaker's decision to disqualify the 18 rebel AIADMK MLAs.
TTV Dhinakaran told the media that he was expecting a favourable decision but now the final decision will be taken after consultations with the 18 MLAs and the future course of action will be decided soon. Meanwhile, the AIADMK official handle tweeted that the Madras HC verdict has taught the correct lesson to its traitors and that democracy has won.
The rebel ministers, supporting the Sasikala-Dhinakaran faction, were disqualified by P Dhanapal, the Speaker of the House, under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution (known as the anti-defection law) after they expressed lack of confidence in chief minister E Palaniswami. The ministers later moved a petition in the High Court challenging the Speaker’s decision following which the court restrained the Election Commission from declaring their seats vacant.
File image of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi k Palaniswamy. PTI
Justice M Sathyanarayanan is set to deliver the verdict at 10.30am on Thursday. The case was listed for judgment late on Wednesday night. Justice Sathyanarayanan was named the third judge by the Supreme Court, after the then first bench of Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar had delivered a split verdict on 14 June. He had reserved his orders on 31 August, after 12 days of a meticulous hearing.
The verdict is being watched closely in political circles in the state since it has the potential to decide the future course of Tamil Nadu politics. If the verdict upholds the disqualification, by-elections will be held on all the seats that would be vacant and it would be a litmus test for the AIADMK government, whose popularity has been on the decline since the demise of its former leader J Jayalalithaa, as evidenced by the result of the RK Nagar bypoll in 2017. However, if the Speaker’s decision to disqualify the MLAs is reversed, the EPS government would plunge into a minority and it would have to face a floor test in the Assembly.
In fact, recently four more MLAs who contested on the AIADMK ticket have also pledged their support to TTV Dhinakaran. One of them, Karunas, had sent a notice to the secretary of the Tamil Nadu State Legislative Assembly, seeking the removal of Speaker P Dhanapal. Meanwhile, AMMK chief Dhinakaran has instructed all but one of the 18 disqualified MLAs in his camp to move to a resort near the Tirunelveli district.
According to a News18 report, all the rebel MLAs barring P Vetrivel are likely to remain holed up at a resort in Courtallam until the verdict comes out. The decision to shift the disqualified legislators came just hours after Dhinakaran met Sasikala at Bengaluru prison amid reports that the E Palanisami and O Panneerselvam government is trying to poach the MLAs loyal to Dhinakaran.