CHENNAI: The first bench of the Madras High Court on Monday directed the Assembly secretary to produce the video-clippings of the entire session relating to the confidence motion conducted on February 18.
“Assembly secretary is directed to produce the video-graph recorded from the commencement of the confidence motion till the end,” said the interim order passed by the bench of Acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and Justice R Mahadevan.
The bench also issued notice to the Assembly Speaker, both in his capacity as head of the House and in his individual capacity, besides the other respondents, which included Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, returnable by March 10. The batch of PILs include the ones filed by DMK working president M K Stalin and Advocates Forum for Social Justice president K Balu, besides Traffic K R Ramaswamy, which sought to declare the February 18 trust vote illegal.
Stalin’s senior counsel R Shanmugasundaram submitted that though his client had given a request to the Assembly secretariat, he is yet to get the video-clippings.
Advocate K Ravi, who too has filed a PIL, said there were at least five key violations. A whip in the name of the government Chief Whip was issued to AIADMK MLAs asking them to vote for Palaniswami.
Balu’s senior counsel N L Rajah said the Speaker’s decision not to follow the Supreme Court verdict in the Jagadambika Pal vs Kalyan Singh case, where secret ballot was held, was irrational. Herding the MLAs and making them stay at a resort was a breach of privilege of the Assembly, he said. Citing the rule book, Rajah said each MLA should have been individually named before being evicted. The en masse eviction was violative of Rules 120 and 121 of the TN Assembly’s Business Rules, he added.