No haste in disqualifying 18 pro-Dinakaran MLAs from TN Assembly, P Dhanapal tells Madras HC

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal on Monday informed the Madras High Court that there was no haste, mala fide or perversity in him passing the order disqualifying the 18 pro-Dinakaran AIADMK MLAs.

Dhanapal's senior counsel C Aryama Sundaram made the submission during the hearing of the petitions challenging their disqualification by the speaker under the anti-defection law in September.

The submissions were made before the first bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar.

The bench is also hearing another petition seeking disqualification of Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and 10 other MLAs of the then rebel camp headed by him for voting against Chief Minister E Palaniswamy in February.

Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal. Twitter @PDhanapalofficial

Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal. Twitter @PDhanapalofficial

The 18 MLAs were disqualified on a plea by the ruling party's whip after they met the governor and expressed their lack of confidence in the chief minister.

The bench sought clarification about the dates on which the plea by the six then MLAs loyal to sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran was received by the speaker seeking disqualification of Panneerselvam and others.

It also wanted to know when the Election Commission had recognised the factions led by Palaniswami and Panneerselvam as two different groups before their coming together in August last.

Sundaram submitted that the complaint was received on 20 March, before the speaker could act, and the EC had on 22 March recognised both the Panneerselvam and Palaniswamy factions as different entities. The arguments would continue on Tuesday.

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Updated Date: Dec 19, 2017 09:09:51 IST

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