The Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered the issuance of notice to Tamil Nadu Speaker P. Dhanapal in connection with a case filed by the DMK seeking to disqualify 12 former rebel AIADMK MLAs for voting against the government in February.
The case, filed by the DMK Whip, pertained to the Speaker not disqualifying the then 12 rebel AIADMK MLAs led by former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam for voting against the government during a confidence vote moved by Chief Minister K. Palaniswami. When the case came up for hearing, counsel for the DMK argued that the Speaker had delayed in not taking action against the then rebel MLAs.
The court ordered notices to the Speaker and the Assembly Secretary and adjourned the case to October 12 for further hearing. Panneerselvam turned rebel in February and said he was forced to resign from the Chief Minister’s post by the now ousted AIADMK interim General Secretary V.K. Sasikala to enable her to take over the reins of the government.
Both the warring factions of the AIADMK led by Palaniswami and Panneerselvam merged on August 21 and the latter was made the Deputy Chief Minister. Sasikala is now in jail.
The DMK plea follows the Speaker’s decision to disqualify 18 AIADMK MLAs — supporters of ousted AIADMK Deputy General Secretary T.T.V. Dhinakaran — under the anti-defection law for withdrawing support to the present government.