The Madras High Court on Thursday stayed the conduct of a floor test in the Tamil Nadu Assembly to prove the majority of the Edappadi K Palanisami government till September 20.
Justice M Duraiswamy passed the order as the Speaker informed the court that he was not in a position to tell whether he would pass orders in the disqualification proceedings against 19 rebel AIADMK MLAs before the floor test is conducted.
The judge was hearing a petition by DMK working President MK Stalin and Perambur MLA P Vetrivel, a loyalist of ousted AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran. Stalin, in his petition, had sought a direction to the Governor to order a floor test for the Palanisami government, claiming that it has lost its majority in view of the 19 MLAs expressing their lack of confidence in the Chief Minister.
Vetrivel, whose petition expressed apprehension that the Speaker might disqualify the 19 dissident MLAs, argued that the disqualification may go in favour of the CM in case of a floor test is conducted.
Earlier, state Advocate General Vijay Narayan informed the judge that the constitutional process by the Speaker had started and the court could not pass orders based on apprehensions of the petitioners. When the advocate general informed the Speaker’s decision, the judge said, “When the speaker is not ready to tell whether he would pass any orders on the disqualification proceedings, then there is nothing wrong with staying the floor test till the A-G gets instructions from the Governor.”
Narayan said this in response to a directive by the judge earlier in the day asking him to ascertain from the Speaker whether he intended to pass any order on the matter.
- Senior counsel Kapil Sibal, appearing for Stalin, submitted that the Speaker might pass an order disqualifying the 19 MLAs and might conduct the floor test even on Sunday so that they would not have time to approach the court for relief. He said at least 48 hours of time should be given before a floor test.