Chennai: DMK leader MK Stalin today sought a direction from Madras High Court for a fresh floor test in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, citing the Speaker's refusal during the February 18 vote of confidence to entertain charges of payoffs against ruling AIADMK MLAs.
The DMK working president stated this in his rejoinder to the counter affidavit by Chief Minister K Palaniswami and the Secretary, Tamil Nadu State Legislative Assembly.
He alleged that there were incidents of offering bribe of crores of rupees as well as gold worth an equivalent amount and that they "have a direct and incontrovertible link" with the confidence motion moved by Mr Palaniswami.
When the matter came up today before the bench, comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sunder, senior counsel Shanmugasundaram sought time for arguments to Wednesday.
Mr Stalin had filed a PIL, challenging the February 18 2017 Vote of confidence in the Tamil Nadu assembly.
Charging that the Speaker had "totally violated" the rules and procedures and acted in a malafide manner and "committed gross illegalities" to ensure that the motion of vote of confidence be passed at any cost, Mr Stalin sought a direction from the court for a fresh floor test.
His rejoinder was in connection with his impleading petition seeking a CBI and DRI probe into "payoffs" to MLAs for the vote of confidence.
Mr Stalin alleged that the "inaction" of the Speaker even after being directed by the Governor to take appropriate action on his complaint of payoffs is a "relevant fact in further establishing malafide" on his (Speaker's) part.
To the contention that seeking a DRI and CBI probe goes beyond the scope of the main petition, Mr Stalin said that in the affidavit filed in support of the main petition itself, there were charges pertaining to bribery and illegal detention of MLAs of the ruling AIADMK.
Further, the sting operation by a news channel had only brought out corroborative evidence in support of his earlier charges, Mr Stalin claimed.
Therefore, the impleading petition seeking CBI and DRI probe falls within the scope of original petition, he said.
When these allegations were raised in the Assembly with "sufficient evidence", the Speaker, who promised to conduct an enquiry, proceeded to conduct the voting without taking any action, Mr Stalin said.
He further said this piece of evidence must be taken into consideration by the court to determine whether or not the confidence motion was conducted in an atmosphere where purity of election was compromised and the freedom of expression of the mind of MLA's was infringed.
Stating that a probe into all these aspects is essential, he prayed that the Court continuously monitor by ordering seizure of relevant video tapes of sting operation, pending disposal of his writ petition.