SC stays disqualification notice against 3 AIADMK MLAs

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta also issued notices on the plea filed by two AIADMK MLAs V T Kalaiselvan and E Rathinasabapathy. (DH File Photo)

The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the proceedings initiated by Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker for disqualification of three AIADMK MLAs for "anti-party" activities for supporting T T V Dhinakaran and V K Sasikala.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta suspended the action started by Speaker Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal.

Senior advocates Kapil Sibal and A M Singhvi appeared for the affected two MLAs, E Rathinasabapathy and V T Kalaiselvan, who filed the petition through advocate Amit Anand Tiwari.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the other side, contended the Speaker's decision can't be questioned in a writ petition before the Supreme Court.

The petitioners, however, pointed out that the Speaker himself faced a no confidence motion.

Rohatgi countered them, by saying a no confidence motion was moved subsequent to the disqualification notice.

The court, however, stayed the proceedings and issued notice to the Speaker and others on the petitions filed by two MLAs.

The petitioners claimed the Speaker could not have acted in “partisan and biased manner contrary to the high position” because a motion for his own removal moved by DMK on April 30 was pending.

The Assembly Speaker had on April 29 issued a notice to three “dissident” AIADMK MLAs Rathinasabapathy,  Kalaiselvan, and V T Prabhu for supporting Dhinakaran, who along with V K Sasikala floated their own outfit following the death of J Jayalalithaa on December 5, 2016.

The petitioners contended that the action by the Speaker was taken in an arbitrary manner without jurisdiction and actuated with malice.

The petitioners also contended that with a no-confidence motion pending against the Speaker, he could not adjudicate in a matter of disqualification. 

“It has been held by this court that it would be constitutionally impermissible for the Speaker to adjudicate a dispute of disqualification petition under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution while a notice of resolution for his own removal from the office of Speaker is pending,” their petitions stated.

“Just when the election result of the bypoll to 22 seats are due to be announced on May 23 May, the action taken by Speaker to initiate disqualification proceedings against the petitioners, smacks of biased and partisan attitude,” their plea claimed.

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