The 18 AIADMK MLAs loyal to sidelined leader T T V Dhinakaran committed political impropriety by meeting Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, thereby inviting their disqualification, counsel for the chief minister submitted before the Madras High Court today. Senior counsel C S Vaidyanathan, appearing on behalf of Chief Minister K Palaniswami, made the submission during the hearing before the Supreme Court-appointed third judge, Justice M Sathyanarayanan, to decide the disqualification case after a split verdict by a division bench.
He said that the MLAs, by publicly expressing their dissent against the party and the chief minister, had breached political propriety and political morality. “Their action has caused disrespect to the AIADMK, which would erode the confidence and trust of the public in the party,” the counsel said.
To the MLAs’ argument that the original political party AIADMK — did not exist during the point of contention, Vaidyanathan said the petitioners had nowhere in their pleadings made such a submission. Despite this, the petitioners themselves had in many instances referred their party to be the real AIADMK, he said.
Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal is entitled to draw inferences from such actions, he said, adding that the letter submitted to the governor alone was sufficient to attract disqualification.
Recording the submission, Justice Sathyanarayanan adjourned the plea tomorrow for further hearing. Justice Sathyanarayanan is hearing the pleas after a bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar gave a split verdict on the petitions on June 14.
The 18 AIADMKA MLAs were disqualified by the speaker in September 18 last year under the anti-defection law after they met the state governor and expressed loss of confidence in Palaniswami.
In view of the split verdict with the CJ upholding the disqualification and Justice Sundar setting it aside, earlier Justice S Vimala was appointed to hear the petitions afresh.
However, the Supreme 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.