‘Speaker has re­fused to ac­cept no­tice’

Ad­vo­cate-Gen­eral says he is not aware of de­vel­op­ment

The Hindu - - FRONT PAGE - Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

The Madras High Court was in­formed on Thurs­day that Assem­bly Speaker P. Dhana­pal had re­fused to ac­cept a pri­vate no­tice in a case seek­ing a di­rec­tion to him to ini­ti­ate dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion pro­ceed­ings against Deputy Chief Min­is­ter O. Pan­neer­sel­vam and his team of MLAs for hav­ing voted against a con­fi­dence mo­tion moved by the Chief Min­is­ter.

Se­nior coun­sel Kapil Sibal rep­re­sent­ing DMK whip R. Sakkara­pani told the Madras High Court on Thurs­day that Assem­bly Speaker P. Dhana­pal re­fused to ac­cept a pri­vate no­tice in a case seek­ing a di­rec­tion to him to ini­ti­ate dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion pro­ceed­ings against Deputy Chief Min­is­ter O. Pan­neer­sel­vam and his team of MLAs for hav­ing voted against a con­fi­dence mo­tion moved by Chief Min­is­ter Edap­padi K. Palaniswami on Fe­bru­ary 18.

The sub­mis­sion was made be­fore Jus­tice K. Ravichan­drabaabu who was seized of the writ pe­ti­tion filed by the whip. When the judge wanted to know if the al­le­ga­tion of re­fusal to ac­cept no­tice was true, Ad­vo­cate-Gen­eral Vi­jay Narayan, rep­re­sent­ing the Assem­bly Sec­re­tary, said he was not aware of any such thing. Se­nior coun­sel Amaren­dra Sha­ran told the judge that it was the lat­ter who had granted him per­mis­sion on Oc­to­ber 4 to is­sue pri­vate no­tices.

Se­nior coun­sel N.R. Ilango of the DMK pointed out that all the oth­ers, in­clud­ing Mr. Pan­neer­sel­vam and his team of MLAs, had ac­cepted the pri­vate no­tices and en­tered ap­pear­ance through their coun­sel. Won­der­ing how Mr. Dhana­pal could refuse to ac­cept no­tice in this case alone, Mr. Sibal pointed out that the Speaker was rep­re­sented by his lawyers be­fore the same court in all other cases in­clud­ing those chal­leng­ing dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion of 18 MLAs ow­ing al­le­giance to side­lined leader T.T.V. Dhi­nakaran.

Ad­journ­ment re­quest

The se­nior coun­sel also ob­jected to a re­quest made by the Ad­vo­cate-Gen­eral to ad­journ the case to some­time next month for the fil­ing of counter-af­fi­davits. He in­sisted that the present case should also be posted on Oc­to­ber 27 along with an­other case filed by 21 DMK leg­is­la­tors chal­leng­ing the priv­i­lege pro­ceed­ings ini­ti­ated against them. “Ev­ery­thing in this case is a mat­ter of record. They (OPS team) can­not deny hav­ing de­fied a whip is­sued by their party on Fe­bru­ary 18,” he pointed out.

Stat­ing that a rea­son­able time should be given to the re­spon­dents to file their replies, Mr. Narayanan said: “They (DMK) waited for seven months (since the Fe­bru­ary 18 trust vote) to file this pe­ti­tion but want the court to hear the case im­me­di­ately. How could this be pos­si­ble?”

The judge ad­journed the hear­ing to Oc­to­ber 27.

FILE PHOTO

O. Pan­neer­sel­vam and his sup­port­ers can­not deny that they de­fied the whip, DMK coun­sel said.

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