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HC Upholds Order Disqualifying 18 Rebel AIADMK MLAs

The 18 AIADMK MLAs were disqualified on September 18 last year under the anti-defection law.

Chennai: The Madras High Court today upheld the June 14 order of the then Chief Justice disqualifying 18 rebel AIADMK MLAs, in a huge relief to the K Palaniswami government.

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.

The 18 disqualified MLAs are loyal to the sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran, who has now formed his own party – the AMMK.

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Justice Sathyanarayanan said there was no infirmity in the order of the Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal, which was upheld by Banerjee.

“All the material that were availble 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,” he observed while upholding their disqualification.

The 18 AIADMK MLAs were disqualified on September 18 last year under the anti-defection law after they met the governor and expressed loss of confidence in Chief Minister Palaniswami.

Following the split verdict, with Banerjee upholding the disqualification and Sundar setting it aside, Justice S Vimala was appointed to hear the petitions afresh.

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However, the Supreme Court named Justice Sathyanarayanan to hear the matter, while declining to accept a prayer of the disqualified MLAs who raised apprehension of “bias”. They had sought the matter to be transferred to the apex court.

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