Court Upholds Disqualification of 18 Rebel AIADMK Legislators: Highlights

AIADMK disqualified MLAs verdict: The 18 lawmakers will no longer be members of the AIADMK and by-elections will be held for their seats.

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Court Upholds Disqualification of 18 Rebel AIADMK Legislators: Highlights

The disqualified legislators are supporters of VK Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dhinakaran.

New Delhi/Chennai: 

The Madras High Court has upheld the Tamil Nadu Speaker's decision disqualifying the 18 AIADMK legislators from the assembly. The verdict is a big win for Chief Minister E Palaniswami, whose government's survival depended on the verdict - there was a possibility that Palaniswami government could have fallen if the rebel legislators had voted against the government.

Justice Sathyanarayanan said there was no infirmity in the order of the Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal. "All the material that were availble at the time of passing of the order by the Speaker alone have been taken into consideration and this court cannot go into the subsequent events," he observed while upholding their disqualification.

The disqualified legislators are supporters of jailed and ousted AIADMK chief VK Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dhinakaran. The Tamil Nadu Speaker had disqualified them last year, invoking the anti-defection law after they wrote to the state Governor seeking the replacement of Chief Minister E Palaniswami. Their letter had also mentioned that they are not withdrawing their support to the AIADMK government.

Ahead of the verdict, the legislators were moved to a hotel in the waterfall town of Courtallam in Tirunelveli district, about 600 km from Chennai, possibly to prevent their defection to the party.

Should the court set aside the Speaker's order, these members would turn legislators who could potentially bring down the current AIADMK government.

Here are the HIGHLIGHTS on the story:




Oct 25, 2018
14:15 (IST)
AIADMK said the verdict upholding the disqualification of party MLAs was a "just order." Party spokesperson P Valarmathi expressed joy over the verdict and said the K Palaniswami government has now proved its 'stability.' "We are very happy...this is a just order," Valarmathi told PTI.

She also said the AIADMK was ready and expressed confidence that the ruling party will emerge victorious in all the 20 seats.
Oct 25, 2018
13:54 (IST)
The 18 MLAs were disqualified on September 18 last year under the anti-defection law after they met the Governor and expressed loss of confidence in the Chief Minister.
Oct 25, 2018
13:44 (IST)
In the 235-member Assembly, the AIADMK has 115 members followed by the DMK with 88, Congress eight, one of the IUML, one Independent, the Speaker and 20 vacant seats (18 disqualified and two dead). Besides, there is a nominated member.

Three legislators though belonging to three different parties won their seats under the AIADMK's two leaves symbol. Of that, one legislator Karunas is openly supporting Mr Dhinakaran.

The case pertains from the time when O. Panneerselvam (now Deputy Chief Minister) had rebelled against the party led by jailed leader V.K. Sasikala.
Oct 25, 2018
13:08 (IST)

AIADMK supporters celebrate after Madras High Court upholds disqualification of 18 rebel AIADMK MLAs.
Oct 25, 2018
12:42 (IST)

Democracy must be safeguarded. Already two assembly constituencies are vacant, now with Madras High Court verdict, 18 seats have fallen vacant. Therefore, Election Commission should take steps immediately to fill them: DMK chief MK Stalin
Oct 25, 2018
12:38 (IST)
Oct 25, 2018
12:05 (IST)
The supreme court had appointed Justice M. Sathyanarayanan, replacing Justice Vimala who was originally appointed by the high court as the third judge following a split verdict in the case in June.

While Chief Justice Indrani Banerjee, heading the two-judge bench, declined to interfere with (Speaker) Dhanapal's decision taken in September 2017, Justice M. Sundar set aside the Speaker's order on the ground that it was hit by "perversity, non-compliance with the principles of natural justice, mala fides and a violation of the constitutional mandate".
Oct 25, 2018
12:01 (IST)

This is a victory for dharma & a slap in the face of traitors & cheaters. Even if an appeal is filed, we are sure that truth only will win: Tamil Nadu Deputy Speaker Pollachi V Jayaraman
Oct 25, 2018
11:45 (IST)
Oct 25, 2018
11:10 (IST)
Justice M. Sathyanarayanan, appointed as the third judge, upheld the disqualification of 18 AIADMK legislators.
Oct 25, 2018
11:08 (IST)
The 18 lawmakers will no longer be members and by-elections will be held for their seats.
Oct 25, 2018
11:05 (IST)
18 AIADMK MLAs Disqualification Case: Court Victory For Tamil Nadu Government, Bad News For TTV Dhinakaran
The Madras High Court has upheld the disqualification of 18 lawmakers loyal to ousted party leader VK Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dhinakaran. Last year, the assembly Speaker had disqualified the lawmakers invoking the anti-defection law after they wrote to the governor seeking the removal of Chief Minister E Palaniswami or EPS."
Oct 25, 2018
11:03 (IST)


The rebel camp is led by TTV Dhinakaran, nephew of VK Sasikala who was jailed for corruption just as she was about to become chief minister after J Jayalalithaa's death.

Last year, the AIADMK, then under Ms Sasikala and Mr Dhinakaran, had moved all the party's legislators to another tourist resort outside Chennai to guard them from then chief minister OPS, who had rebelled against Ms Sasikala's dominance. After Ms Sasikala was jailed, EPS and OPS buried their differences and removed her.

Ms Sasikala, a long-time aide of AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa, took control of the party after her death in December 2016 and was about to take charge as chief minister when she was jailed for corruption. She was removed as AIADMK chief but continued to control the dissident group from jail, along with her nephew, who won the RK Nagar seat of Ms Jayalalithaa in by-polls a year ago.
Oct 25, 2018
11:01 (IST)
There was speculation that more ruling party legislators could switch their allegiance to the rebel camp, bringing down the government, if the court cancelled the disqualification of the 18 lawmakers.

With 20 vacant seats, the Tamil Nadu assembly's strength is down from 234 to 214. The ruling party, with 116 members, is well above the half-way mark of 107.
Oct 25, 2018
11:01 (IST)


The rebel legislators were kept in a resort to ensure that they don't deflect to the Palaniswami camp.Yesterday, the rebel MLAs were seen in photos taking a dip in a river considered holy in the state.

Now with the lawmakers disqualified, there will be by-elections for 18 seats, along with two more that have been vacant since the death of members.
Oct 25, 2018
10:56 (IST)
Mr Dhinakaran said he will seek the rebel MLAs' opinion on whether to appeal against the verdict in the Supreme Court or whether to face the elections.  He said it was "an experience for us".

He said he was confident that people will help his camp win the elections, as it did in the RK Nagar elections. The RK Nagar seat was held by late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. 
Oct 25, 2018
10:46 (IST)

The decision is abig setback for the TTV Dhinakaran camp. Speaking on the verdict, TTV Dhinakaran said:" We did not expect the verdict. The next course of action will be taken after discussing the matter with 18 legislators".

He also said that the court order does not reflect people's opinion which, according to him, is in his favour. 
Oct 25, 2018
10:44 (IST)
The Madras High Court has upheld the disqualification of Tamil Nadu Speaker to disqualify the rebel legislators.
Oct 25, 2018
10:35 (IST)
Justice M Sathyanarayanan, who will deliver his judgment in the case today, said he would give an independent order
Oct 25, 2018
10:33 (IST)
AIADMK counsel lawyer C Thirumaran has reached court.
Oct 25, 2018
10:29 (IST)
E Palaniswami is meeting law minister CV Shanmugam to discuss the case.
Oct 25, 2018
10:26 (IST)
Madras High Court will deliver the verdict at 10.30 am.
Oct 25, 2018
10:23 (IST)
Speaker P Dhanapal had disqualified the MLAs for "voluntarily giving up their memberships" of AIADMK after they had withdrawn support to the E Palaniswami government 
Oct 25, 2018
10:16 (IST)


NDTV's Uma Shankar explains the possibilities that could arise based on the verdict
Oct 25, 2018
10:05 (IST)
The 18 AIADMK MLAs were disqualified on September 18 last year under the anti-defection law after they met the Governor and expressed loss of confidence in Chief Minister K Palaniswami.

In view of the split verdict with Indira Banerjee upholding the disqualification and Justice Sundar setting it aside, Justice S Vimala was appointed to hear the petitions afresh.

However, the apex court named Justice Sathyanarayanan, while declining to accept a prayer of the disqualified MLAs who raised apprehension of "bias" and sought to transfer the matter to the apex court. 
Oct 25, 2018
09:48 (IST)
Justice M Sathyanarayanan heard the pleas after a bench of then Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar gave a split verdict on the matter on June 14.
Oct 25, 2018
09:22 (IST)

Currently, with 20 seats vacant - including the 18 disqualified legislators - the Tamil Nadu assembly has a total strength of only 214 in the 234 member house; with 116 legislators, the ruling AIADMK is well above the half way mark of 107. However, if the disqualification of 18 legislators is set aside, the assembly strength would go up to 232 and with 116 legislators, the AIADMK would run one short of legislators for a simple majority of 117 and the government could potentially fall if the legislators with Mr Dhinakaran vote against Mr Palaniswami.
Oct 25, 2018
09:18 (IST)
The Madras High court is expected to begin hearing at 10:30 am.
Oct 25, 2018
09:17 (IST)
Oct 25, 2018
09:15 (IST)

The disqualified legislators are supporters of jailed and ousted AIADMK chief VK Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dhinakaran. The Tamil Nadu Speaker had disqualified them last year, invoking the anti-defection law after they wrote to the state Governor seeking the replacement of Chief Minister E Palaniswami. Their letter had also mentioned that they are not withdrawing their support to the AIADMK government.
Oct 25, 2018
09:13 (IST)
Ahead of the hearing the disqualified lawmakers were moved to a hotel in  Tirunelveli district, about 600 km from Chennai.
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