CHENNAI: The Madras High Court is expected to deliver on Thursday its verdict on the disqualification of 18 AIADMK dissident MLAs who had earlier switched loyalty to RK Nagar MLA TTV Dhinakaran. The verdict will have huge political implications.
In September 2017, 18 rebel MLAs met the Governor and submitted a letter seeking replacement of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami.
Subsequently, Speaker P Dhanapal disqualified the MLAs under Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly (Disqualification on Ground of Defection) Rules, 1986 and declared that 18 AIADMK MLAs had lost their MLA posts.
The disqualification of MLAs has brought the Assembly’s strength to 215, thereby reducing the total number of MLAs required for majority to 108.
The First Bench of the Madras High Court of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar, which heard the appeal petition filed against the Speaker’s decision, adjourned the order in January.
If the High Court upholds the Speaker’s decision, the 18 MLA seats will go vacant, thereby leading to by-election in the constituencies concerned in six months.
If the court sets aside the Speaker’s decision, the government will have to prove its majority and for that, it will require the support of 117 MLAs.