TN MLA disqualification case: Next round of hearings in Madras HC on July 23
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TN MLA disqualification case: Next round of hearings in Madras HC on July 23

Meera Emmanuel

The dates have been set for the next round of hearings in the Tamil Nadu MLA disqualification case.

Justice M Sathyanarayanan today stated that the batch of petitions filed against the disqualification of 18 AIADMK MLAs from the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly in September 2017 will be taken up from July 23 to July 27. The case is posted to be heard next at 10.30 am on July 23.

The same was intimated in open court this evening, in the presence of Senior Advocate PS Raman appearing for the petitioners and AAG SR Rajagopal for the respondent side.

Disqualified MLA P Vetrivel’s case will be treated as the lead case. Given that all other petitions made by the MLAs rest on similar facts and contentions, Raman told the Court that one typeset could be filed in the lead petition for the sake of convenience.

Justice Sathyanarayanan fixed the dates from July 23, since the Court is due to take up cases brought against illegal beach sand mining in the state, on a continuous basis from July 9 onwards.

Sathyanarayanan J will be the fifth judge to whom the disqualification case has passed on, although he may be the third to actually render a finding in the matter.

The first batch of petitions had initially been brought before Justice M Duraiswamy last year. After a change of roster, the cases were posted before Justice K Ravichandrabaabu.

However, Justice Ravichandrabaabu found that there were important questions of Constitutional importance involved in the case. Therefore, he referred the matter to a larger Bench. The cases were then posted before the First Bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar.

The split verdict rendered this Division Bench last month had inevitably called for a third judge to decide the matter. Accordingly, the Chief Justice had asked the next seniormost judge, justice HG Ramesh to appoint the third judge. Justice S Vimala had initially been nominated to make the call by Justice Ramesh.

However, the petitioners approached the Supreme Court challenging the same, prompting the Apex Court to eventually designate Justice M Sathyanarayanan to take up the task.

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