CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has no jurisdiction to hear a plea seeking disqualification of Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and 10 other AIADMK MLAs for voting against Chief Minister K Palaniswami during a trust vote last year, their counsel submitted today.
Senior counsel C S Vaidyanathan submitted to the court that it cannot interfere when the Assembly Speaker has not passed any order on a representation submitted to him stating that these MLAs had violated the AIADMK chief whip's order.
He stated that the question whether the MLAs can be disqualified when the Speaker has not passed any order is pending adjudication before the Supreme Court.
After hearing the arguments, the bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose adjourned the matter to February 27 for hearing the DMK counsel's submission.
DMK whip Sakkarapani has filed the petition seeking disqualification of Panneerselvam, then a rebel leader, and others for voting against Palaniswami.
Panneerselvam had submitted last week that the AIADMK had issued a whip for the trust vote only to the 122 MLAs who were staying in a resort then and not to his erstwhile group.
Vaidyanathan had countered the submission by DMK's senior counsel that Panneerselvam and AIADMK had committed contempt of court by saying no whip was issued during the vote of confidence while an affidavit contrary to this had been filed before the Election Commission by the then rebel group.
Following the rebellion by Panneerselvam, the AIADMK had kept its 122 MLAs at the resort near here, and they were brought to the assembly for the trust vote which was eventually won by Palaniswami by a margin of 122-11.
The groups led by Panneerselvam and Palaniswami later merged and the EC allotted the party symbol to them, ignoring the claim of the faction led by T T V Dhinakaran.
In addition to the DMK, four disqualified MLAs loyal to rebel leader T T V Dhinakaran have also moved the court aggrieved over the Speaker not acting on their plea filed earlier for action against Panneerselvam and others.
The four had filed the petition before the Speaker before he disqualified 18 pro-Dhinakaran MLAs, including them.