Setback for DMK MLAs; HC refuses to stay suspension

RSTV Bureau
DMK Treasurer and Opposition leader of Tamil Nadu Assembly MK Stalin being evicted out of the assembly by marshals during the ongoing Assembly session at Secretariat in Chennai on Wednesday. Stalin and all other DMK legislators who attended the Assembly session on Wednesday were en masse evicted from the House following a commotion over a remark made by an AIADMK legislator on Stalin’s Namakku Naame road show Photo-PTI

DMK Treasurer and Opposition leader of Tamil Nadu Assembly MK Stalin being evicted out of the assembly by marshals during the ongoing Assembly session at Secretariat in Chennai on Wednesday. Stalin and all other DMK legislators who attended the Assembly session on Wednesday were en masse evicted from the House following a commotion over a remark made by an AIADMK legislator on Stalin’s Namakku Naame road show
Photo-PTI

In a big setback to DMK, the Madras High Court refused to grant an interim stay on the suspension of 79 of its MLAs from the state Assembly.

The petitions challenged 79 DMK members’ en masse suspension from the Assembly last week and sought a direction to declare all proceedings and actions taken as unconstitutional.

Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker had suspended all Opposition MLAs present in the House on August 17 after there was an uproar in the House. The Speaker had the DMK MLAs evicted and suspended them for a week for allegedly disrupting proceedings. The uproar began after an AIADMK MLA had ridiculed Stalin.

The High Court declined to pass an interim order by saying, “Since it is a matter of function of the House and the order has been passed by the Speaker, we are not inclined to pass interim orders…But there will be no question of making the prayer infructuous as ultimately the validity of the resolution would have to be decided as it may have other ramifications.”

However, the court did issue notice to the state Chief Secretary on the petitions.

The bench directed the petitioners-Stalin and DMK MLA Thiagarajan– to serve private notices to the Speaker, P Dhanapal, and the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Secretary, and posted the matter for further hearing to September 1.

In his plea, Stalin sought an interim direction to permit him and other suspended members to attend and participate in the present session.

When the matter came up, Stalin’s counsel argued that it was for the first time in the history of the Assembly that a resolution had been passed suspending en masse all opposition DMK MLAs. He also called the suspension without any basis or material.

Meanwhile in the Assembly, the remaining 8 DMK MLAs staged a walkout from the Assembly after Speaker P Dhanapal refused to revoke the suspension of 79 of their colleagues.

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa too targeted DMK and its chief Karunanidhi for not participating in proceedings.

“He (Karunanidhi) may have come if he had courage. He should have come. He should have spoken,” Jaya lashed out in the House after the DMK MPs staged a walkout.

(With inputs from PTI)