Chennai: Madras High Court judge Justice S Vimala has been picked up as the third judge to decide on the disqualification of 18 rebel AIADMK MLAs, said reports on Tuesday.
Justice Vimala was chosen by Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh, the senior most judge of Madras High Court, on Monday, according to TNM.
She will hear the case challenging the disqualification of 18 rebel AIADMK MLAs by Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanpal.
The first woman to become the Director of a State Judicial Academy, S Vimala was appointed as Additional Judge of Madras HC in 2011. She was made permanent Judge in 2013.
The appointment was made after the Chief Justice of Madras HC Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar delivered a split verdict in the MLA disqualification case on June 14.
The MLAs were disqualified by the Speaker for their allegiance to sidelined party leader TTV Dhinakaran. While Chief Justice Indira Banerjee upheld the Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal's decision, judge M Sundar quashed his order.
The bench said matter will now be heard by a three-judge bench headed by the senior-most judge after chief justice Banerjee.
The ruling AIADMK has a strength of 116 MLAs excluding the Speaker but including S Karunaas (Mukkulathor Pulipadai), M Thamimun Ansari (Manithaneya Jananayaga Katchi) and U Thaniyarasu (Tamil Nadu Kongu Ilaignar Peravai), who had won on the ruling party's two leaves symbol in 2016 polls.
While 18 MLAs owing allegiance to Dhinakaran were disqualified, the DMK has 89 MLAs, its allies Congress eight and the IUML one in the 234-member House. Dhinakaran got elected from RK Nagar in 2017 and he is the lone independent member of the House.
Dhinakaran, the nephew of deposed party leader VK Sasikala, had been claiming that the Palaniswami government would not last long.
The MLAs were disqualified after they had called on Tamil Nadu Governor expressing lack of confidence in the leadership of Palaniswami and seeking a change of guard.
The MLAs had met the Governor on August 22, 2017, a day after then rival factions led by Palaniswami and his now deputy Panneerselvam merged their factions after deposing Dhinaknaran as the deputy general secretary.