Chennai: Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal has contended in the Madras High Court that if the 18 disqualified MLAs, loyal to sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran, had intentions to continue in the party, they would have approached it for redressing their grievance.
This was on Wednesday submitted by the Speaker's counsel before Justice K Ravichandra Baabu during resumed arguments on a batch of petitions, including those by the 18 MLAs challenging their disqualification under the anti-defection law on 18 September.
In his counter affidavit, Assembly Secretary K Boopathy submitted that the 18 MLAs had "embraced a total different ideology from that of the AIADMK and had disassociated themselves from the party. Therefore, by their conduct, they had voluntarily surrendered their membership of AIADMK."
Rejecting the claim of the disqualified MLAs that they were not given adequate opportunity to submit their explanation, the counter affidavit said "as per rules, only seven days are required to be given to the MLAs."
"But the speaker had granted them 21 days to file their reply for his notice and had fixed hearing on two occasions for them to appear. They chose not to appear and are now accusing that enough time was not provided," the counter said.
On the allegation that he failed to act upon the representation given against O Panneerselvam and 10 other MLAs for voting against motion of confidence moved by the Chief Minister K Palaniswamy on 18 February, he submitted that the disqualification petition against the 11 MLAs was completely different and was not connected to this disqualification issue.
While raising several "untenable allegations" against the office of the speaker and the orders passed, the 18 MLAs have not been able to state as to what they wanted the governor to do, the counter said.
Updated Date: Oct 06, 2017 08:18 AM