The Supreme Court Wednesday issued notice on a plea by DMK leader R. Sakkrapani seeking a direction to the Speaker of the Tamil Nadu Assembly to immediately decide on disqualification petition in connection with 11 MLAs, who had voted against Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami in 2017.
A bench comprising Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde, R. Subhash Reddy and A.S. Bopanna took up the matter through video conferencing. The bench refused to hear arguments on the matter and informed senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the petitioner, that the matter will be taken up after 4 weeks.
Sibal contended before the bench that Assembly's term would expire in May 2021, and urged the court to give a short date. The bench replied May 2021 is far away. In February 2017, 11 AIADMK MLAs voted against the vote of confidence, which was moved by their own party. They belonged to the O. Paneerselvam faction of the party.
As a result, disqualification petitions were moved before the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly under Para 2 of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution. Later, the factions' different camps -- O. Paneerselvam and E. Palaniswami -- merged.
After this merger, the Speaker kept the disqualification applications pending. In February this year, a petition seeking direction to the Speaker to act on the matter was filed in the top court. This petition was disposed of in February asking the Speaker to decide the disqualification petitions as per law.
The petition filed by Sakkrapani argues that nothing has happened on the matter yet, despite the order from the apex court. The petitioner also cited the outer limit of three months for a decision to be taken in respect of disqualification petitions as per the verdict of the apex court.
The petition states that the failure of the Speaker by not taking any action towards deciding the disqualification petition is against the spirit of the order of the top court.