Chennai: The Speaker has violated the provisions of the Constitution by disqualifying 18 rebel AIADMK MLAs, said senior counsel P. S. Raman. The senior counsel appearing on behalf of them, made the submission before Justice M. Sathyanarayanan as the hearing commenced on Monday.
He said the entire issue could have avoided and the Speaker had not taken action against Deputy CM O. Paneerselvam and other MLAs for voting against the government in the floor test in February 2017.
He said the Speaker has been functioning like a tribunal and his orders are as amenable to the judicial review as of any of the tribunal.
Raman said the Speaker was playing politics and he acted with mala fide intention. He had not acted against petitions of MLAs against Paneerselvam for voting against the government in the no-confidence motion held in February 2017. The entire issue could have been avoided. He said the corruption charge against Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami would have been discussed internally.
The disqualification proceeding started on August 24 and concluded on September 18, 2017. The proceedings concluded in a hurry, as they feared a floor test in the Assembly.
The disqualified legislators were denied the right to cross-examination.
The speaker relied on materials that were not on record. He also alleged that AIADMK whip’s complaint was primarily based on unsubstantiated media reports and extracts of electronic media without following the rules of the evidence.
The party whip had relied on the reports only to prove that 18 legislators met the Governor to give the representation. But the same report said that the MLAs had no intention to go against the party or the government or to voluntarily give up their membership. The whip had failed to appreciate this aspect which was part of the same report.
Besides, this there is no material to prove that the MLAs intended to act against the party. There is no such allegation is either the whip’s petition or the reply made by the chief minister.
In fact, the CM in his reply to the Speaker stated that the dissent of the MLAs against him might affect the party. Even, CM did not say that the MLAs dissented against the party directly.
Raman commenced his submissions at around 10.30 am and concluded at around 4.30 pm.
Hearing on the matter will be conducted till July 27....