The first bench comprising Chief Justice AP Sahi and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy raised certain pertinent questions as to when the privileges of the Assembly have not been defined, how can the court proceed into the realm of deciding what the privileges are at the first place and then decide as to whether there is a breach of the same.
However, Amit Anand Tiwari, appearing for one of the DMK MLAs, argued that absence of rules makes it more pertinent for the court to scrutinise such actions. While malice, bias and irregularities remained the crux of the arguments laid out in support of the DMK MLAs, the counsel for the Speaker’s secretary, Deputy Speaker and others sought to delink the façade created as if the privilege notice issued to the MLAs was a bid to tally its numbers during a trust vote. The ruling party has held majority from the start and there existed no links between the notice to the DMK MLAs and trust vote.
Senior Counsel AL Somayaji, appearing for the Deputy Speaker, stressed on lack of maintainability of the plea and said there was no violation of natural justice as the MLAs were allowed to speak of the issue in House.
He further argued that when the Assembly proceedings pertained to demand for grants, the DMK MLAs raised the issue of gutkha sale despite the ban and started waving sachets of the same. The Speaker, meant to maintain the dignity and decorum of the house was duty-bound to act.
Arguments are set to conclude on Friday after which the bench is expected to reserve its orders.