Updated: October 25, 2018 11:19:25 am
The AIADMK welcomed the Madras High Court verdict Thursday upholding the disqualification of 18 rebel party MLAs who owe allegiance to ousted member TTV Dhinakaran.
In a tweet, the party said the order was a victory of democracy, and is a “correct lesson for the traitors”. The 18 rebel MLAs had submitted a letter of no-confidence to the party last year, after which they were disqualified by P Dhanapal, the Speaker of the House, under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution (known as the anti-defection law). The MLAs later moved a petition in the HC challenging the Speaker’s decision following which the court restrained the Election Commission from declaring their seats vacant.
Dhinakaran said the verdict is not a setback. “This is an experience, we will face the situation. Future course of action will be decided after meeting with the 18 MLAs,” news agency ANI quoted him as saying.
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The verdict was delivered by Justice M Sathyanarayanan, who upheld the order of Madras Chief Justice Indira Banerjee. A two-judge bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar gave a split verdict, with the former upholding the disqualification while the latter ruling against it on June 14.
Besides two upcoming bypolls, Tamil Nadu will now have to face 20 bypolls in all the 20 constituencies of the disqualified MLAs, that may pose a bigger political challenge before the AIADMK government.
The current strength of the Tamil Nadu Assembly is 216. While AIADMK has 116 MLAs, including the Speaker, the Opposition has 98 MLAs.
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