The Supreme Court today agreed to hear a plea on June 27 filed by 18 disqualified AIADMK MLAs seeking transfer of their case from the Madras High Court to the apex court after the split verdict by the High Court on June 14.
Senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for the 18 MLAs, said it is a serious matter which requires an urgent hearing.
Third judge scheduled to hear matter afresh: Advocate
Singh alleged they came to know through WhatsApp message that a third judge is scheduled to hear the matter afresh. A vacation bench of Justices Arun Mishra and SK Kaul said, "We don't go by WhatsApp messages and matter will be heard on June 27."
Why were the 18 MLAs disqualified?
A division bench of Madras High Court comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar delivered divergent verdicts on whether the 18 MLAs deserved to be disqualified under the anti-defection law by Speaker P Dhanapal on September 18 last year for approaching the Governor and seeking the removal of Chief Minister K Palaniswami.
The MLAs were loyal to sidelined party leader TTV Dhinakaran.
What were the split verdicts of two judges?
In 200-page-order, Justice Banerjee had upheld the Speaker's decision and said, "Speaker's view is a possible, if not plausible, and I'm unable to hold that the said decision is unreasonable, irrational or perverse."
Justice Sundar, in his 135-page-order, insisted that Dhanapal's order "deserved to be set aside on grounds of perversity, non-compliance with principles of natural justice, malafides, and violation of constitutional mandate".
Status quo would continue till third-judge delivers verdict: Chief Justice
The court ruled that the senior-most judge after the Chief Justice would now hand-pick a judge who will hear the matter afresh. The Chief Justice said status quo would continue till the third judge delivered the verdict on the petitions.