Gutkha case transferred to Chief Justice bench

Chennai: The case involving 18 DMK MLAs including the party president MK Stalin for bringing gutkha into the Tamilnadu Assembly has been transferred to another bench.

Justice Ravichandarbabu of the Madras High Court who was hearing the case has recommended it to bench comprising of Chief Justice.

A case was filed by the DMK against the new privilege notice issued by the Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal against the DMK MLAs for bringing gutkha inside the Assembly premises.

The privilege notice was initially served by Dhanapal in 2017 against 21 DMK lawmakers — two died during the pendency of the case — on the ground that prohibited items were brought into the Assembly by them.

The notices were issued anew on 10 September asking a response from the members by 14 September.

Stalin and the DMK members filed writ petitions against the fresh notice.

It recalled that the Madras High Court had last month set aside an earlier privilege notice against Stalin and the other MLAs, after they challenged it.

Gutkha (chewing tobacco) has been banned in Tamil Nadu since 2013.