The Madras High Court today deferred to Monday the hearing of a DMK plea for probes by the CBI and the DRI into the the alleged payoffs to some AIADMK MLAs before the trust vote sought by the K Palaniswami government in February. A division bench comprising Justice M Sathyanarayanan and Justice M Sundar posted the matter for hearing to Monday when DMK working president M K Stalin's counsel R Shanmugasundaram sought for issuing notice to the newly impleaded respondents, the CBI joint director and the DRI additional director general. While posting the matter for further hearing on Monday, the bench observed that the counsel of respondents CBI and DRI should first come to know that such an impleading plea has been made. Making a special mention in the court, Shanmugasundaram had on June 13 referred to the reports in a section of media about the alleged pay-offs of crores of rupees to some MLAs for their support to the trust vote. He had stated they would like to file the miscellaneous petition seeking a CBI and DRI inquiry into the alleged pay-offs as such probs were very much needed. Stalin's PIL challenging the trust vote is pending in the court. Shanmugasundaram also told the court that DMK had already questioned the manner in which the AIADMK MLAs were 'confined' in a resort and brought to the assembly for the trust vote. TV footage had purportedly showed AIADMK's Madurai (South) MLA Saravanan making some claims of pay-offs to ruling party legislators ahead of the February 18 trust vote.
The MLA, however, has said the voice in the footage was not his. On February 18, Palaniswami had won the trust vote 122-11 in the 234-member Assembly aided by the eviction of main opposition DMK and walkout by its allies, amid stormy scenes during which mikes were uprooted, chairs toppled and sheets of papers torn. In his plea, Stalin has sought to declare the confidence vote null and void claiming that it was conducted in "contravention" of the Assembly rules.
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