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Gutka row: Madras HC judge recuses himself from hearing plea of Stalin, 17 other MLAs

Though the judge did not elaborate on the reasons, he, however, said that even in 2017 when a case was filed on the same issue, he had recused himself

Published: 18th September 2020 07:29 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th September 2020 07:29 PM   |  A+A-

DMK president M K Stalin (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Madras High Court judge K Ravichandrabaabu on Friday recused himself from hearing the cases filed by DMK president MK Stalin and 17 other MLAs of the party challenging the breach of privilege proceedings initiated by the Speaker for bringing gutka packets into the Assembly in 2017.

Though the judge did not elaborate on the reasons, he, however, said that even in 2017 when a case was filed on the same issue, he had recused himself.

According to the petitioner, MK Stalin in his plea sought an interim stay against the fresh assembly privilege committee proceedings issued on September 7.

In the petition, he also added, "The timing for the issuance of the notice dated September 7 seeking an explanation/reply by September 14 is not innocuous or coincidental, as the Tamil Nadu
Legislative Assembly is scheduled to convene from September 14. I submit that the malafides are writ large on the face of the notice dated September 7 as its primary objective is to prevent the petitioner and other legislators belonging to the principal opposition party (to whom notices have been issued) from attending the upcoming Assembly session."

Justifying the act of bringing gutka packets into the assembly, Stalin stated that the government order imposing the gutka ban only prohibits its manufacture, storage, distribution and sale. Therefore, the assumption of jurisdiction by the Speaker to initiate proceedings is itself bad in law and without jurisdiction and hence liable to be set aside, he added.

The plea is expected to be listed in the next few days before the bench of Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana.



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