Gutka case: No suspension of stay order on notices

The Madras High Court on Tuesday refrained from suspending an order of interim stay passed by a single judge on September 24 restraining Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly’s Committee of Privileges from proceeding against DMK president M.K. Stalin and 17 other MLAs of his party in the gutkha sachets display issue.

Chief Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, however, granted liberty to the Assembly Secretary as well as the Privileges Committee to move an application before the single judge to vacate the stay.

The liberty was granted pursuant to writ appeals preferred by them against the single judge’s stay order.

On September 24, Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana had passed an interim stay on the fresh show-cause notice issued to the MLAs on September 7, by the Assembly Privilege Committee for displaying Gutka sachets inside the House in 2017.

Senior Advocate AL Somayaji submitted that judicial review of such issues comes only after a final decision is taken by the committee and a suspension of the stay has to be granted.

The court, recording the submissions, observed that the appeal plea can be heard after the respondents were issued notice and refused for the suspension of stay.