DMK moved the Supreme Court Tuesday seeking a direction to Tamil Nadu Speaker P Dhanapal to decide forthwith the pending plea of the party seeking disqualification of 11 AIADMK lawmakers who had voted against Chief Minister K Palaniswami during the 2017 confidence vote.
The 11 lawmakers included Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and the DMK plea for their disqualification before the Speaker has been pending since March 20, 2017.
The fresh plea of DMK, filed through lawyer Amit Anand Tiwari, referred to an earlier order of the top court which had disposed of the plea after taking note of the submission that the Speaker has initiated proceedings on the disqualification plea.
The plea has sought a direction to hold the deliberate action of the Speaker in not deciding the disqualification petition as arbitrary and violative fundamental rights and constitutional schemes.
Issue a writ…directing Respondent No. 2 (Speaker) to declare that Respondent Nos. 3-13 (11 AIADMK MLAs) are disqualified or in the alternative, direct the Speaker to decide the disqualification petition forthwith, said the plea filed through R Sakkrapani, whip of DMK in assembly.
DMK referred to an apex court order in another case in which it had ordered forthwith removal of BJP lawmaker and Manipur Forest Cabinet Minister TH Shyamkumar, restraining him from entering the Assembly till further orders.
The apex court had invoked its plenary power under Article 142 of the Constitution to remove a cabinet minister from any government as the Assembly speaker could not decide the disqualification plea despite its specific directions.
For the last three years and 3 months, speaker (R-2) has not decided the issue. This inaction of the Respondent no 2 assumes greater significance in view of the fact that in the earlier round of litigation, before this Court vide an order dated February 14, speaker was asked to decide the disqualification petitions in accordance with law.
“Despite that nothing has been done for last 4 months, whereas the law requires the Speaker to decide a petition from disqualification within an outer limit of three months, the plea said.
The speaker has continued to sit over the issue and the undertaking given by the Advocate General on his behalf was not followed in letter and spirit, it said.
The plea has sought disqualification of Panneerselvam and 10 others for having voted against the Palaniswami government when they were in the rebel camp.
It had contended that by voting against the trust motion, these MLAs violated the whip issued by the ruling party and hence attracted disqualification under the anti-defection law.