The First Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and Justice R Mahadevan on directing the registry to keep the video clippings in safe custody adjourned the case to March 10. The matter relates to the suspension of 89 DMK MLAs from the Assembly for a week by the Speaker for creating ruckus in the House. Trouble had erupted during the debate on demands for grants for the Housing and IT departments when an AIADMK member, without naming Stalin, made some remarks about the ‘Namaku Naame’ programme undertaken by him in the run up to the last Assembly elections.
The suspension was challenged by DMK working president, M K Stalin and another MLA PTR Palanivel Thyagarajan in the High Court. Stalin and Thigarajan had submitted that the blanket resolution to suspend all he DMK MLAs including those who didn’t sign the register was illegal. Stalin in his plea had also sought the court to declare as illegal and unconstitutional, Rule 121 of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Rules based on which they were suspended. He said Rule 121 empowers the Speaker to impose “the grave punishment of suspension” without providing any opportunity of hearing to the member/ members.
On pointing out that the Speaker’s action constituted a “naked affront” to the principles of democracy, he said the action of suspending the entire Opposition was opposed to the fundamental notions of Parliamentary and Constitutional convention and is plainly unconstitutional However, justifying the suspension of the DMK MLA’s the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Secretary in its counter affidavit had claimed that the procedure followed in passing the resolution and decision taken by the House was in consonance with the provisions of both the Indian Constitution and the Legislative Assembly Rules. It may be noted that even in the latest case involving the controversial floor test, the HC has directed the Assembly secretary to submit the video clippings of the removal of DMK MLAs.