HC upholds disqualification of 18 AIADMK MLAs

Chennai: The Madras High Court today upheld the disqualification of the 18 AIADMK MLAs, owing allegiance to rebel leader T T V Dhinakaran.

Justice M Sathyanarayanan heard the pleas after a bench of then Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar gave a split verdict on the matter on 14 June.

The 18 AIADMK MLAs were disqualified on 18 September last year under the anti-defection law after they met the Governor and expressed loss of confidence in Chief Minister K Palaniswami.

In view of the split verdict with Indira Banerjee upholding the disqualification and Justice Sundar setting it aside, Justice S Vimala was appointed to hear the petitions afresh. However, the apex court named Justice Sathyanarayanan, while declining to accept a prayer of the disqualified MLAs who raised apprehension of ‘bias’ and sought to transfer the matter to the apex court.

Addressing mediapersons after the verdict, AMMK leader T T V Dhinakaran said the next step in the case will be taken after consultation with all the 18 MLAs.

“I will stand by whatever decision they take collectively,” he said. He further said, “We do not see this as a setback and more of an experience. We have won even after loosing the Two leaves symbol.”

NT Bureau