SC agrees to hear plea of 18 disqualified AIADMK MLAs

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NEW DELHI, JUNE 25: The Supreme Court will on Wednesday hear a plea by 18 AIADMK MLAs of the Dinakaran faction seeking the transfer of the case challenging their disqualification to the apex Court from the Madras High Court.
A Vacation Bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Sanjay Kishan Kaul agreed to hear the plea after it was mentioned on Monday for an early hearing.
The lawyer for the MLAs said that they were seeking the transfer of the case as there has been an inordinate delay to decide against their disqualification and under the Representation of People Act, a vacant seat has to be filled up within 6 months of its occurring.
Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the 18 MLAs, said it is a serious matter which requires urgent hearing as the High Court has given a split verdict on June 14 and the third Judge is scheduled to hear the matter afresh.
He alleged that people knew through WhatsApp about the third Judge who will be hearing the case after the split verdict.
The Court said, “We don’t go by WhatsApp messages and the matter will be heard on June 27”.
There was split verdict by the Madras High Court on their plea challenging their disqualification. Thereafter, the matter was referred to a third Judge and is still pending.
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.”
The Chief Justice said status quo would continue till the third Judge delivered the verdict on the petitions.
The Chief Justice said status quo would continue till the third Judge delivered the verdict on the petitions.
(TS with inputs from agencies)