The Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the DMK to produce video clippings or any other recordings to substantiate its claim that the trust vote on February 18 was in contravention of the Assembly rules.
On February 20, the DMK had moved the high court seeking declaration of the confidence vote null and void as it was conducted in “contravention” of the Assembly rules.
The First Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and Justice R Mahadevan also asked the DMK’s counsel, R Shanmugasundaram, in what way the party was aggrieved in the matter.
On being asked what made the DMK to move such a plea when the issue was only between former chief minister O Panneerselvam and the incumbent Edappadi K Palaniswami, the counsel said the DMK is the main opposition in the Assembly.
M K Stalin, the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, was “stopped” near the War Memorial, a few metres away from the Assembly complex, and was “made to walk” to the House.
Also all the DMK legislators were “illegally evicted from the House when they sought for a secret ballot”, the counsel submitted.
N L Rajah, appearing on behalf of the Advocates Forum For Social Justice, which also wanted the trust vote to be declared null and void, contended that all the MLAs of AIADMK, who were kept in a resort before the trust vote, were escorted to the Assembly in buses “which clearly showed that they were kept in illegal detention”.
He said that an FIR was pending against Palaniswami in connection with the detention of the MLAs.
The bench adjourned the case till February 27 for further hearing after the arguments.
Palaniswami had won the trust vote 122-11 in the 234-member Assembly aided by the eviction of MLAs of the DMK and a walkout by its allies, amid stormy scenes during which mikes were uprooted, chairs toppled and sheets of papers torn.
A division of the vote was taken up after two adjournments following unruly scenes during which the opposition MLAs insisted on a secret vote, which was rejected by Speaker P Dhanapal.