September 20, 2017
Chennai: Now it all hinges out the outcome of the final hearing of the disqualification case, slated for October 4, in the Madras Court that politics in Tamil Nadu will depend. The Madras High Court on Wednesday stayed any floor test in the assembly till the petition of disqualified MLAs was disposed of. It also directed the Election Commission not to hold any bye polls to the 18 vacancies notified by the speaker till the court gave its final verdict.
Justice M Duraiswamy, who heard a bunch of petitions by MLAs challenging their disqualification, and also DMK working president MK Stalin’s plea on notice for action against 21 DMK MLAs and also his petition seeking early floor test, took up the disqualification issue and gave temporary and partial relief to Dinakaran camp MLAs, when he extended stay on floor test till the case is disposed of.
He, however did not give the relief that Dinakaran was looking for – staying the disqualification itself, that would have put the government in a troublesome spot.
It was action stations at Room No 23, Madras High Court, as top legal eagles of the country descended to fight the high profile and politically very significant case. Present were Kapil Sibal representing the DMK working President MK Stalin, who had sought court’s direction to governor to order a floor test and also challenged speaker’s notice to 21 DMK MLAs, former union minister and Congress leader Salman Khurshid and senior advocate Dushyant Dave representing Dinakaran camp, senior SC Advocate Ariyaman Sundaram representing TN Assembly speaker P Dhanpal, former Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi representing the Tamil Nadu government and Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi representing TN acting governor C Vidyasagar Rao.
The decision staying floor test was welcomed by Dinakaran and his faction leaders. “Justice is on our side and we are confident that the final verdict will come in our favour.” CR Sarsawathi, spokesperson for AIADMK (Dinakaran camp) said questioning as to what exactly was the crime the MLAs committed. They don’t want EPS to continue as chief minister and this is not a crime, she said adding speaker acted in a partisan manner.
DMK spokesperson A Sarvanan “it is a consent order, which stays floor test and imposes partial stay on disqualification of 18 MLAs.” The DMK would want this government’s ouster and fresh elections so that there is a decisive mandate in favour of DMK to run the government properly. At present there is no government or governance in Tamil Nadu, he said. The court order today prevents the government from coverting minority into majority through the disqualification route.
Dinakaran, was beaming when he reiterated that “the traitors, EPS and OPS, will be sent packing home, the day has come very near when they will be kicked out.”
His advocate, Dushyant Dave submitted to the court that the Speaker’s order against the MLAs was against natural justice as the letter the MLAs gave to governor was something like the letters given against Yediyurappa in Karnataka. There should be some inner democracy within a political party, he said alleging that the speakers action was biased.
The anti-defection law has been misused by the speaker, he said adding the speaker did not behave as an impartial person but acted like a party man.
Ariyaman Sundaram chose to say that he would file the counter on the date of next hearing.