CHENNAI: In the major relief to the ruling Edappadi K. Palaniswami (EPS)-led government in Tamil Nadu, the Madras High Court Thursday upheld Assembly speaker's decision to disqualify 18 AIADMK MLAs, owing allegiance to sidelined party leader T T V Dhinakaran.
Justice M Sathyanarayanan heard the pleas of the rival parties after a bench of then Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar gave a split verdict on June 14.
All the material that were available at the time of passing of the order by the Speaker alone have been taken into consideration and this court cannot go into the subsequent events," observed Justice Sathyanarayanan while upholding the disqualification.
"It is not a setback for us. This is an experience, we will face the situation. Future course of action will be decided after meeting with the 18 MLAs," Dinakaran later said.
The 18 AIADMK MLAs were disqualified by Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanpal on September 18 last year under the anti-defection law after they met the Governor and expressed loss of confidence in Chief Minister K Palaniswami.
On June 14, the High Court had delivered a split verdict in the disqualification case. While Chief Justice Indira Banerjee upheld the Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal's decision, judge M Sundar quashed his order.
The matter was referred to a three-judge bench headed by the senior-most judge after chief justice Banerjee.
The Supreme Court then appointed Justice Sathyanarayanan of the Madras High Court as the third judge to hear and decide the matter.