In a big relief for Panneerselvam, the Madras High Court on Friday dismissed a plea to dismiss 11 MLAs, including Deputy CM for defying the party whip during a no-confidence vote in February 2017.
A bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Abdul Quddhose dismissed the petition by DMK whip Sakkarapani.
The petition filed by the opposition DMK had sought the disqualification of the 11 MLAs and cited an affidavit submitted by Panneerselvam to the Election Commission.
The PIL had contended that by voting against the trust motion these MLAs had violated the whip issued by the ruling party and hence attracted disqualification under the anti-defection law.
Panneerselvam and other MLAs, then in the rebel camp, had voted against the trust vote sought by Chief Minister K Palaniswami on February 18, 2017.Palaniswami eventually won the vote by a margin of 122-11.
Panneerselvam had opposed the petition saying the whip was issued only to the 122 MLAs who were staying in a resort then and not to his erstwhile group.
He was made deputy chief minister after the group and the other faction led by Palaniswami merged in August.