Chennai: In a relief to the Palaniswami government, the Madras high court delivered a split verdict today on the petitions challenging the disqualification of 18 AIADMK legislators who were loyal to the sidelined leader T.T.V. Dhinakaran.
In the keenly-awaited judgement, Chief Justice of the Madras high court Indira Banerjee upheld the September 18 order of Tamil Nadu assembly speaker P. Dhanapal which disqualified the MLAs. However, Justice M. Sundar disagreed with her and struck it down.
The senior-most judge after her will decide the third judge who would hear the matter afresh, Justice Banerjee said.
The split verdict has come as a big relief to the AIADMK government headed by chief minister K. Palaniswami as any possible threat to stability of the government has been averted for now.
The bench was passing orders on petitions filed by the 18 MLAs challenging their disqualification by the Speaker under the anti-defection law.
The MLAs were disqualified after they had called on the governor on August 22 last year, expressing their lack of confidence in the leadership of Palaniswami and seeking a change of guard.