CHENNAI: After three days of marathon hearing, the first bench of the Madras High court comprising of Chief Justice AP Sahi and Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy reserved its orders on the plea moved by 21 DMK MLAs including MK Stalin against the privilege motion initiated against them for waving “gutka” packets in TN assembly in the year 2017.
On Friday, senior advocate AL Somayaji concluded his arguments by stating that the notices issued by the committee to the MLAs were only to maintain the dignity and decorum of the House. “The Speaker has an exclusive right to decide which acts of the members amount to a breach of privilege. He is the representative of all the members of the House,” Somayaji said.
Advocate General Vijay Narayan contended, “ If a member violates such privilege and behaves in a manner they were not supposed to, the committee intervenes to decide whether such actions of the member would amount to a breach of privilege”. Rolling one’s eyes and sticking out tongue are not prohibited acts, even former opposition leader DMDK founder Vijayakanth was suspended for such acts in the assembly, he added.
Countering the submissions made, DMK counsel senior advocate R Shanmugasunaram said that Vijayakanth’s act inside the assembly comes under the IPC, however mere possession of gutka packets and taking it into assembly would not constitute breach of privilege.