NEW DELHI:The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear the plea filed by 18 disqualified AIADMK MLAs seeking transfer of their case from the Madras High Court to the apex court after the split verdict given by the High Court.
During a brief hearing, senior advocate Vikas Sipearing for the MLAs, said it was a serious matter that required an urgent hearing as the High Court had given a split verdict on June 14 and the third judge was scheduled to hear the matter afresh. He alleged that people knew through WhatsApp about the third judge. A vacation Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and S K Kaul said, "We don't go by WhatsApp messages and the matter will be heard on June 27."
The petitioners in their plea apprehended a likelihood of bias, given that persons like the Chief Minister, the Deputy Chief Minister, the Speaker and other high functionaries are involved and demanded transfer of their plea to the apex court. The petitioners also have expressed reservations about the nomination of Justice S Vimala in the case, considering the fact that Justice Vimala's daughter-in-law was recently appointed as a government advocate in the Madras High Court.
On June 14, the High Court gave the split verdict on petitions challenging the disqualification of the 18 MLAs loyal to sidelined party leader T T V Dhinakaran, a ruling that maintained the status quo in the corridors of power in Tamil Nadu.
A Division Bench of the 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 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 to hear the matter afresh.