Madras HC to pronounce verdict on disqualification of 18 MLAs: 3 likely scenarios

The fate of the Edappadi Palaniswami-led government could very well be in the Madras High Court’s hands. It will be all eyes on the High Court on Thursday when it pronounces its verdict on the disqualification of 18 AIADMK MLAs.The judgement, which was reserved by the High Court on January 24, comes nine months after the 18 MLAs were disqualified.The 18 AIADMK MLAs were disqualified by Speaker P Dhanapal on September 18 and a gazette notification was issued declaring that vacancies to their seats have arisen due to the Anti-Defection Act.The MLAs, who were supporting ousted AIADMK Deputy General Secretary, now AMMK leader and RK Nagar MLA TTV Dhinakaran, were disqualified on the grounds that they had “voluntarily given up their party membership”. They had in August filed individual petitions with then Governor Vidyasagar Rao expressing a lack of confidence in Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswamy and withdrew support to him.Following this, AIADMK Chief Whip S Rajendran filed a complaint with the Speaker claiming that the MLAs were indulging in anti-party activities.
Calling the Speaker’s decision illegal and unauthorised, the MLAs moved the High Court seeking that the Speaker’s decision be quashed and their constitutional right be restored.
While hearing the case, the Madras High Court had on September 20 ordered a stay on the notifying bye-polls to the 18 seats but refused to stay the disqualification.