Hear­ing in priv­i­lege case ad­journed to Oc­to­ber 27

Bar on pro­ceed­ing against DMK leg­is­la­tors who dis­played gutkha to con­tinue

The Hindu - - TAMIL NADU - Mo­hamed Im­ran­ul­lah S.

The Madras High Court on Thurs­day ad­journed to Oc­to­ber 27 the hear­ing on writ pe­ti­tions filed by 21 DMK leg­is­la­tors chal­leng­ing the pro­ceed­ings ini­ti­ated against them by the Com­mit­tee of Priv­i­leges of the Tamil Nadu Leg­isla­tive Assem­bly for hav­ing dis­played gutkha sa­chets in the Assem­bly on July 19 to high­light their avail­abil­ity in shops de­spite a State-wide ban.

Jus­tice K. Ravichan­drabaabu de­ferred the hear­ing af­ter Ad­vo­cate-Gen­eral Vi­jay Narayan, rep­re­sent­ing the Assem­bly Sec­re­tary, sought an ad­journ­ment on the ground that though a counter-af­fi­davit had been fi­nalised, it would take some time to serve copies on Se­nior Coun­sel Kapil Sibal, Amaren­dra Sha­ran, R. Shun­mu­ga­sun­daram and N.R. Ilango rep­re­sent­ing the pe­ti­tion­ers.

In the mean­time, an in­terim or­der passed by Jus­tice M. Du­raiswamy on Septem­ber 8, when he was han­dling the writ port­fo­lio last month, re­strain­ing the Com­mit­tee of Priv­i­leges from pro­ceed­ing fur­ther, would con­tinue since the judge had made clear that his or­der would be in op­er­a­tion un­til fur­ther or­ders.

Pre­sent­ing a brief his­tory of the case be­fore Mr. Jus­tice Ravichan­drabaabu, Mr. Sibal said that cer­tain dates were very cru­cial for ad­ju­di­ca­tion since they would prove the mala fide in­ten­tion be­hind the priv­i­lege pro­ceed­ings. He al­leged that the pro­ceed­ings were ini­ti­ated to pre­vent the MLAs from at­tend­ing the Assem­bly in case of a trust vote be­ing held.

“The gutkha sa­chets were dis­played on July 19 and the Speaker re­ferred the is­sue to the Priv­i­leges Com­mit­tee on the same day. There­after, peo­ple went into a deep slum­ber. On Au­gust 22, 19 AIADMK MLAs of the T.T.V. Dhi­nakaran group ex­pressed no con­fi­dence on the Chief Min­is­ter, and on Au­gust 26, the Leader of the Op­po­si­tion M.K. Stalin de­manded a floor test.

“Im­me­di­ately, the Com­mit­tee Chair­man (Pol­lachi V. Ja­yara­man, who was also the Deputy Speaker of the Assem­bly) is­sued show­cause no­tices to the pe­ti­tion­ers on Au­gust 28,” the Se­nior Coun­sel pointed out.

Those who had ap­proached the court chal­leng­ing the pro­ceed­ings were Mr. Stalin, rep­re­sent­ing the Ko­lathur con­stituency, A.R.R. Seeni­vasan (Virud­hu­na­gar), B. Ran­ganathan (Vil­li­vakkam), Govi. Chezhian (Tiru­vidaimarud­hur), J. An­bazha­gan (Chep­auk), K.P.P. Samy (Tiru­vot­tiyur), K.S. Ravichan­dran (Eg­more), Ku. Ka. Sel­vam (Thou­sand Lights), M.P. Giri (Chengam) and N. Karthik (Sin­ganal­lur). MLAs P. Karthikeyan (Vel­lore), P.K. Sekar Babu (Harbour), P.N.P. In­basekaran (Pen­na­garam), P. Si­vaku­mar alias Thayagam Kavi (Thiru.Vi.Ka. Na­gar), R.T. Arasu (Cheyyur), Saba. Ra­jen­dran (Neyveli), S. Am­beth Ku­mar (Van­davasi), S. Pugazhen­thi (Madu­ran­takam), S. Thanga­pan­dian (Ra­japalayam) and S. Sud­harsanam (Ma­davaram) had also filed in­di­vid­ual writ pe­ti­tions.

The DMK claims the pro­ceed­ings were ini­ti­ated to en­sure the gov­ern­ment’s vic­tory in the trust vote.

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