A two-judge bench of the Madras High Court on Thursday delivered a split verdict after hearing the case against the disqualification of 18 AIADMK MLAs for “anti-party activities”.
The High Court was hearing a batch of petitions against Speaker P Dhanapal’s decision last September to disqualify 18 MLAs from the Tamil Nadu Assembly for anti-party activities.
The split verdict was delivered by Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar. While the Chief Justice upheld Speaker P Dhanapal’s decision to disqualify the 18 MLAs loyal to TTV Dinkaran, Justice Sunder disagreed.
The matter will now be heard afresh by a three-bench judge (a third judge will be appointed by the senior-most judge in the court). In a relief to the Palaniswami government, the High Court has ordered that no floor test or bypolls can be conducted till its final order.
Presently, the AIADMK has 116 MLAs in the 234 seats including the Speaker. The Opposition has a strength of 98, including 89 MLAs of DMK, eight of Congress and one of the IUML. The disqualification of the MLAs has reduced the strength of the House to 216 members.