The Madras High Court Chief Justice Indira Banerjee said today that the judgment in the case challenging the disqualification of 18 rebel AIADMK legislators, who belong to the TTV Dinakaran faction, by Tamil Nadu Speaker S Dhanapalan will be given soon.
Responding to a petition by advocate Devarajan, Chief Justice Indira Banerjee who has heard the case along with Justice S Sundar, said the verdict would be given soon. The verdict will have a greater impact on Tamil Nadu politics because If the disqualification is quashed, the rebels will gain the power even to bring down the government as the Edapadi government has only the support of 111 MLAs in a House of 225 MLAs.
In the wake of the rejection of the DMK whip K Chakrapani’s plea to direct the Speaker to disqualify 11 MLAs led by O Pannerselvam on the ground that they voted against the Edappadi K Palanisamy government when it sought confidence vote in the Assembly on Feb 18 last year, there was heightened expectations on the fate of the other case of disqualification of 18 pro-Dinakaran MLAs who petitioned the Governor for change of Chief Minister in September after voting for the Government in the trust vote.
The bench of Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quoddhose had said that it can review any decision by the Speaker on disqualification of a legislator, but it cannot direct him to take a decision if he decides to sit on the issue.Whether a court can give such a direction if there is studied inaction by the Speaker is before a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, the bench reasoned.
The DMK working president M K Stalin and others have wondered why the court heard the petition in the first place if it did not have the power to give any direction to the chair. In the light of this verdict, rebel leader T T V Dinakaran’s supporter and one of those disqualified by the Speaker Thanga Selvan criticised the verdict as unjust.
Advocate Suryaprakasam brought to the attention of the Chief Justice the comments made by Thanga Selvan and sought contempt action.Justice Banerjee said that the Judgement is being given only after thoroughly going through the case and hearing all sides. Anyone has the right to express an opinion on the verdict(s). Judges are answerable only to the God since they deliver verdicts as per conscience”.
Thanga Tamil Selvan said today that he did not cast any aspersions on the judges but only suspected a BJP hand as Pannerselvam was propped up by Prime Minister Modi.The second case concerning the 18 rebel MLAs will decide the fate of the Edappadi Government which is already in a minority. If the disqualification is upheld, the government will have to face by-elections to these 18 seats. The AIADMK lost miserably to Dinakaran in R K Nagar constituency once held by Jayalalitha.