The Madras High Court Wednesday extended the stay order on the floor test in the Tamil Nadu Assembly. The court said the trust vote cannot be held until the cases filed by eight of the 18 disqualified MLAs are disposed. It also said no poll notification will be issued for the 18 Assembly seats falling vacant due to the disqualification of the dissident AIADMK MLAs.
The HC was hearing a bunch of petitions challenging the disqualification of the 18 legislators loyal to TTV Dhinakaran, nephew of jailed party leader VK Sasikala. The next hearing of the case is scheduled on October 4.
Eight of the 18 legislators had moved court protesting the ‘unauthorized’ and ‘illegal’ way in which Speaker P Dhanapal disqualified them under the anti-defection law. The petitioners sought to restrain the Speaker, government chief whip S Rajendran, Chief Minister K Palaniswami and the Assembly secretary from interfering with their rights as elected representatives. The MLAs earlier had met Governor Vidyasagar Rao on August 22 withdrawing support to the government led by Chief Minister EK Palaniswami.
The legislators had also asked the court to grant an interim stay on the operation and implementation of the September 18 impugned order. They also sought permission to participate in the proposed floor test in the Assembly.
With the disqualification of the 18 MLAs, the government would require the support of only 108 MLAs to win the trust vote as the number of elected representatives reduced to 215 with one seat vacant.