Madras HC extends stay on floor test of Palaniswami govt

RSTV Bureau
FILE: Chennai: Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswami. Photo - PTI

FILE: Chennai: Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswami.
Photo – PTI

The Madras High Court on Wednesday extended its stay order on a floor test in the Tamil Nadu Assembly till further directions. Its directions came while hearing a batch of petitions challenging the disqualification of 18 rebel AIADMK MLAs belonging to the Dhinakaran camp.

The judge, however, directed that no poll notification be issued for the 18 Assembly seats falling vacant due to disqualification of the dissident MLAs.

The MLAs were disqualified on Monday by the Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal under the provisions of anti-defection law.

The High Court had earlier ordered there will be no floor test till today.

Eight of the 18 MLAs had moved the court challenging the action against them under the anti-defection law. The dissident MLAs condemned the Speaker’s order as ‘unauthorised’ and ‘illegal’ in their individual petitions.

The petitioners had also sought to restrain the Speaker, government chief whip S Rajendran, Chief Minister K Palaniswami and the Assembly secretary from interfering with their rights as elected representatives.

In their petition, the disqualified MLAs had sought the quashing of disqualification order passed by the speaker calling it “unauthorised and illegal and without jurisdiction as per the binding law…”

They also asked the court to grant interim stay on the operation and implementation of the September 18 impugned order and permit them to participate in the proceedings of assembly, including the trust vote on the present government.

With the disqualification of the 18 MLAs, the 234-member assembly has only 215 elected members with one seat being vacant already.

The government now needs only 108 votes to prove its majority in the assembly now in case of a floor test.

(With inputs from the PTI)