COVID-19 delayed proceedings against Deputy CM, others, HC told

  1. NEWS STATES TAMIL NADU
    TAMIL NADU
    COVID-19 delayed proceedings against Deputy CM, others, HC told
    Legal Correspondent
    CHENNAI 14 AUGUST 2020 01:30 IST
    UPDATED: 14 AUGUST 2020 01:35 IST

    Tamil Nadu Assembly Secretary on Thursday informed the Madras High Court that the COVID-19 pandemic broke out when Speaker P. Dhanapal was dealing with the petitions seeking to disqualify Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and 10 other AIADMK MLAs. All of them had voted against the motion of confidence moved by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on February 18, 2017.

    Chief Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy were informed by Advocate General Vijay Narayan that even as the Speaker was seized of the issue, DMK whip R. Sakkarapani filed a case in the High Court seeking a direction to disqualify the legislators.

    The case was originally dismissed in April 2018 and then taken on appeal to the Supreme Court.

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    The Supreme Court disposed of the appeal in February this year, after it was informed that the Speaker had issued notices to the MLAs concerned. “By the time the notices were issued, the pandemic started. Yet, there has been extensive correspondence and exchange of pleadings between the Speaker and the MLAs over the last few months.

    “Now, we are phasing out the hearing on a staggered basis due to COVID-19,” the A-G said.

    The submissions were made during the hearing on petitions filed by DMK MLAs challenging the breach of privilege proceedings initiated against them for having displayed the banned gutkha sachets in the Assembly on July 19, 2017.

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