The Madras High Court on Thursday has given a split judgement on the disqualification of 18 dissident AIADMK MLAs belonging to TTV Dinakaran faction.
While the Chief Justice upheld the disqualification of all 18 MLAs, Justice Sundar said that the disqualification is not valid. Hence, the case is being referred to a third judge.
"Trust vote on Edappadi K Palaniswami government cannot be held until the third judge gives the verdict on the disqualification of 18 MLAs. Also, by-elections cannot be held for the 18 constituencies until the verdict," the Madras High Court said.
In view of the importance and urgency of the matter, the third judge will be named within a week, the Chief Justice said.
The 18 MLAs were disqualified by Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal after they revolted against the Edappadi K Palanisamy Government in August last year. For time being, the verdict is considered as a relief for EPS-OPS as Madras High Court gives split verdict and the matter referred to three-judge bench.
If the 18 MLAs were disqualified, it would have been a threat to Edappadi Government which came into being in February 2017 after the present Deputy Chief Minister O Pannerselvam, who took over as Chief Minister upon the passing of his predecessor J Jayalalitha on Dec 4 2016, resigned on Feb 5 under pressure from her controversial aide V K Sasikala.