While the Speaker is the ultimate authority when it comes to the Legislature, the court, at times, had intervened in the orders issued by the heads of the Assembly, sparking debates in political, judicial and media spectrums. The latest is the Supreme Court Monday staying the disqualification proceedings against two AIADMK MLAs, served notice by Tamilnadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal for allegedly indulging in ‘anti-party’ activities.
The notices were served under the anti-defection law. A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepka Gupta, while staying the Speaker’s decision, also issued notices on the plea filed by two AIADMK MLAs, V T Kalaiselvan and E Rathinasabapathy. On 30 April, A Prabhu (Kallakurichi), Kalaiselvan (Vriddhachalam) and E Rathinasabapathy (Aranthangi) were served notices by Dhanapal, seeking an explanation for allegedly siding with Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) leader T T V Dhinakaran.
Of the three MLAs, two lawmakers had approached the Supreme Court challenging the notice served to them. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the MLAs, claimed the Speaker could have acted in ‘partisan and a biased manner contrary to the high position’ because a motion for his own removal moved by the DMK 30 April was pending. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Speaker, objected to the MLAs coming straight to the apex court barely after the Speaker’s notice to them. With the SC, after hearing both sides, staying Dhanapal’s decision, all eyes are now on the next moves that are to take place in Tamilnadu political arena.