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HC order on 18 AIADMK MLAs disqualification case likely

Press Trust of India  |  Chennai 

The is expected to deliver tomorrow its verdict on petitions challenging the disqualification of 18 AIADMK MLAs owing allegiance to sidelined TTV

The verdict may open up a fresh round of political squabbles and legal battles and could have a bearing on the stability of the led by Minister K Palaniswami, who had assumed office in February 2017 with the backing of but later turned against him.

The first bench comprising Justice and Justice M Sundar, which had on January 23 last reserved its orders on the petitions by the 18 MLAs challenging their disqualification by the assembly under the anti-defection law, was likely to give the judgement in the afternoon, court sources said.

If the court quashes the Speaker's September 18 last order disqualifying the 18 MLAs, it could pose some trouble to the government, though the ruling AIADMK is confident that its government would not face any immediate threat to its survival.

They point out that in the event of a confidence vote, the 18 MLAs would be bound by the and cannot afford to vote against the government.

Besides, the option of filing an appeal is also open to both the sides.

Opposition DMK has been claiming that with the disqualification of the MLAs, the government had been reduced to a minority.

The ruling AIADMK has a strength of 116 MLAs exluding the but including S Karunaas (Mukkulathor Pulipadai), M Thamimun Ansari (Manithaneya Jananayaga Katchi) and U Thaniyarasu (Kongu Ilaignar Peravai), who had won on the ruling party's two leaves symbol in 2016 polls.

While 18 MLAs owing allegiance to were disqualified, the DMK has 89 MLAs, its allies 8 and the IUML one in the 234 member strong

Dhinakaran got elected from RK Nagar last year and he is the lone of the

A court ruling adverse to the government would intensify the power struggle between the Dhinakaran, now of Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, and the ruling party led by top leaders O

Dhinakaran, nephew of depopsed V K Sasikala, had been claiming that the government would not last long.

The MLAs were disqualified after they had called on Tamil Nadu expressing lack of confidence in the leadership of Palaniswami and seeking a change of

The MLAs had met the on August 22, 2017, a day after then rival factions led by Palaniswami and his now deputy merged their factions after deposing Dhinaknaran as the

During the hearing of the petitions which commenced on November 16, senior counsels for the respondents including the speaker, the chief whip, and the defended the disqualification of the MLAs.

The crux of their argument was that the MLAs had approached the with the intention to topple the government headed by Palaniswami and thereby attracted disqualification under the

Senior counsels and P S Raman who had appeared for the petitioners among others argued that the disqualification of the 18 MLAs was a premeditated ambush.

The had passed the order based on irrelevant considerations, ignoring relevant considerations which was malice in law, Singhvi had contended.

With Karunaas attending a recent 'mock Assembly' held by DMK, it is not clear if he continues to back the ruling party. Thaniyarasu and Ansari seem to be sailing with the government.

Bringing relief to the ruling dispensation, in April, the had dismissed a petition by DMK seeking disqualification of and 10 other AIADMK MLAs for having voted against the last year when they were in the rebel camp.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, June 13 2018. 22:15 IST