Disqualification of MLAs: Madras HC verdict tomorrow

Disqualification of MLAs: Madras HC verdict tomorrow

Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam leader T T V Dhinakaran. ANI file photo.

The Madras High Court will deliver its verdict on the disqualification of 18 AIADMK MLAs owing allegiance to rebel leader T T V Dhinakaran by Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal on Thursday morning.

The bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar will deliver the verdict at 10.30 am on Thursday. The bench had reserved the verdict in January this year.

The verdict is keenly awaited in political circles as it will virtually decide the fate of the Edappadi K Palaniswami government. The EPS-led government will be forced to face a floor test if the court quashes the disqualification of the legislators.

The 18 MLAs, who were disqualified in September last year, approached the court challenging the Speaker's decision saying they never defied the whip.

The Speaker took the action after the MLAs expressed their no confidence on Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and his government after he patched up with the then rebel leader O Panneerselvam.

If the disqualification is upheld, then the 18 seats would go for by-polls which would be very difficult for the government to face, political observers say.

After disqualifying the MLAs, the Speaker declared all 18 constituencies as vacant but the High Court said elections cannot be held unless it decides on the case.