Chennai: The Madras High Court on Wednesday extended its stay on conducting a fresh floor test in Tamil Nadu Assembly 'untill further orders' while hearing a case related to the recent disqualification of 18 'rebel' AIADMK MLAs by the Speaker.
There will not be floor tests for next days until counters are filed, Aryama Sundaram, lawyer of Tamil Nadu Speaker P Dhanapal, was quoted as saying by ANI.
The Madras HC further directed that there will be no stay on the disqualification of AIADMK MLAs in question, while posting the case for hearing on October 4.
The petition in the Madras High Court was filed by P Vetrivel, one of the 18 AIADMK MLAs disqualified by the Speaker. He had approached the court apprehending disqualification by the Speaker.
During the hearing, sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran's lawyer Dushyant Dave contented that the anti-defection law was being misused by Assembly Speaker.
''Why no committee was constituted according to laws of Assembly to enquire MLAs? Speaker is influenced by somebody, Dave asked.
Driving his point home, Dave said the MLAs didn't vote against the party or resigned.
''So where is the question of anti-defection,'' Dhinakaran's lawyer said, adding,''The Speaker is depriving the right of MLAs.''
Separately, the major opposition party DMK yesterday held a meeting of its MLAs at the party headquarters and decided to take legal and democratic actions to bring down the AIADMK government.
The party condemned the "undemocratic" action of the Speaker in disqualifying 18 legislators of AIADMK. The DMK party also demanded the resignation of Speaker Dhanapal and Chief Minister Palaniswami.
DMK Working President MK Stalin told the media after the meeting that they were confident that the High Court would give "good decisions" on their demand for an immediate floor test in the Assembly.
Addressing a meeting in Tiruchirapalli, sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran vowed to send the "corrupt" Palaniswami government home but ruled out aligning with DMK in case elections were held.
"We are confident of winning the elections after sending this government home. We will restore the rule of MGR and Jayalalithaa," he said.
"MGR started AIADMK against DMK which is our main enemy. How can we join hands with DMK," he said referring to media questions whether his faction would align with DMK.
The rebel AIADMK MLAs, close to TTV Dhinakaran, had moved the high court shortly after they were disqualified by the Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker, P Dhanpal.
These MLAs were disqualified under 1986 Tamil Nadu Assembly Members party defection law, the Speaker said in his order.
Thanga Tamilselvan, Senthil Balaji, P Vetrivel and K Mariappan were among those who were disqualified.
Dhinakaran had last week warned that he will throw the incumbent K Palaniswami-led government in Tamil Nadu after the ruling AIADMK General Council removed him and his aunt VK Sasikala from top positions in the party.
TTV Dinakaran also challenged his rivals to hold fresh elections if they felt that they enjoyed popular support.
The reactions from Dhinakaran came shortly after the AIADMK General Council cancelled the appointment of jailed VK Sasikala as party General Secretary.
Dinakaran's appointment as Deputy General Secretary of AIADMK was also cancelled during general council meeting held recently.
Sasikala was appointed as General Secretary last December following the death of party supremo and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.
Sasikala had appointed Dhinakaran as Deputy General Secretary before going to jail.
Importantly, the AIADMK general council also declared late J Jayalalithaa as the party's ''eternal general secretary''.