ALSO READTrust vote: DMK seeks hearing of plea on reported 'pay-offs' Palaniswami counters Stalin's charges over trust vote DMK's plea to probe alleged payoffs to be heard on Monday Stalin detained for staging protest at Marina, DMK cadres held DMK MLAs evicted en masse from assembly over MLAs payoff issue
Chief Minister K Palaniswami today sought time to reply to a plea by DMK seeking probe by the CBI and DRI into the alleged pay-offs to some ruling AIADMK MLAs for supporting his government's trust motion last February. Objecting to the plea, R Krishnamoorthy, counsel for the chief minister, submitted that the additional application for probe by the CBI and DRI was much beyond the scope of the original petition challenging the validity of the trust vote. The main petition, filed by DMK working president M K Stalin is pending before the court. A division bench of justices M Sathyanarayanan and M Sundar, before which the additional petition came up, posted the matter for further hearing to June 23, to enable filing of the counter. In a special mention in the court, R Shanmugasundaram, counsel for Stalin, 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 that they would like to file the miscellaneous petition seeking a CBI and DRI probe into the alleged pay-offs as such a probe was very much needed. Last Friday, the court had deferred for today the hearing of the plea for probe by CBI and DRI into the alleged pay- offs to some AIADMK MLAs before the trust vote sought by the K Palaniswami government in February. A division bench had posted the matter for hearing to today when Shanmugasundaram prayed for issuing notice to the newly impleaded respondents, the CBI joint director and the DRI additional director general. TV footage had purportedly showed Madurai (South) MLA Saravanan belonging to the O Panneerselvam camp 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 eviction of main opposition DMK and walkout by its allies, amid stormy scenes. 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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