Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Dhinakaran faction MLAs' disqualification: SC refuses to transfer case from Madras HC

Supreme Court
) today refused to transfer to itself a case to do with the disqualification of 18 
Tamil Nadu
 MLAs from the TTC 
Dhinakaran faction
 of the AIADMK.

The case will remain with the Madras high court (HC), said the SC, which then also appointed a new judge - Justice M Satyanarayana of Madras HC- to oversee the case. Earlier, Justice Vimala was assigned to hear the case.

The Madras High Court had on June 14 given a split verdict on petitions challenging the disqualification of 18 MLAs loyal to sidelined party leader Dhinakaran, a ruling that maintained status quo in the corridors of power in Tamil Nadu.

A division bench of Madras High Court comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar delivered divergent verdicts on whether the 18 MLAs deserved to be disqualified under the anti-defection law by Speaker P Dhanapal on September 18 last year for approaching the Governor and seeking the removal of Chief Minister K Palaniswami.

The court ruled that the senior-most judge after the chief justice would now hand-pick a judge who will hear the matter afresh.

In her 200-page order, the 
 chief justice had upheld the Speaker's decision, saying, "In my opinion, the view taken by the Speaker is a possible, if not plausible view, and I am unable to hold that the said decision is any way unreasonable, irrational or perverse."

Justice Sundar, in his 135-page order, struck a dissenting note, insisting that Dhanapal's order "deserved to be set aside on grounds of perversity, non-compliance with principles of natural justice, mala fides and violation of the constitutional mandate".

The chief justice said status quo would continue till the third judge delivered the verdict on the petitions.

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