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HC throws out DMK petition for disqualification of 11 AIADMK

Press Trust of India  |  Chennai 

The today dismissed a petition by the opposition DMK seeking disqualification of 11 AIADMK MLAs, including Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, in a huge relief to the government which could have otherwise been reduced to a minority in the state Assembly.

A bench of and Justice rejected the petition by DMK Sakkarapani, citing pendency of a petition in the on the powers of a court to issue directions to the of a state Assembly.

The petitioner had sought disqualification of and 10 others for having voted against the K government last year when they were in the rebel camp.

The petitioner had contended that by voting against the trust motion these MLAs had violated the issued by the ruling party and hence attracted disqualification under the

and other MLAs, who had then revolted against the AIADMK leadership, voted against the trust vote sought by K on February 18, 2017.

Palaniswami eventually won the vote 122-11.

had opposed the petition saying the was issued only to the 122 MLAs who were then camping in a resort and not his group.

He was made deputy after the group and the faction led by Palaniswami merged in August after sidelining jailed leader V K and her nephew T T V

Their disqualification would have brought down the strength of the ruling AIADMK in the 235-member House to 105 from 116, excluding the and a nominated member.

The opposition DMK with 89 MLAs, has the support of 8 lawmakers of the and one of IUML. There combined strength stands at 98. There is one independent MLA and 18 seats are vacant.

V K Sasikala's nephew Dhinakaran, who launched Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam recently and got elected to the Assembly from late J Jayalalithaa's R K Nagar seat, has been claiming that he had "sleeper cells" among the AIADMK MLAs who could pull down the government.

The ruling party would have faced a tough situation in the event of its strength depleting following the disqualification of its 11 MLAs.

The 18 MLAs loyal to were disqualified by the after they met the state's then Ch Vidyasagar Rao seeking removal of Palaniswami as the chief minister, a day after the factions led by him and Panneerselvam announced a merger.

The disqualified MLAs moved the challenging the Speaker's decision. The court reserved its judgement on January 23 and it is yet to be pronounced.

The had allotted the 'two leaves' AIADMK symbol to Palaniswami-Panneerselvam led group, rejecting the claim of the faction led by of majority support in the party.

Reacting to the judgment, Palaniswami said he was happy about the verdict.

DMK working M K said he had faith in the judiciary, but asserted his party's legal battle will continue in the

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

First Published: Fri, April 27 2018. 20:20 IST