K Pandiarajan, former minister and one of the 11 MLAs in the O Panneerselvam group, has moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to quash the February 18 confidence motion moved by Edappadi K Palanisami as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
Pandiarajan termed the February 18 resolution, in which 122 MLAs voted in favour of the Council of Ministers led by Mr. Palaniswami, as “illegal, capricious, discriminatory and violative of the principle of ‘secrecy’, which is the essence of democracy, free and fair elections, and the voter’s freedom of expression, which constitutes one of the basic features of our Constitution”.
Pandiarajan sought a direction to quash the Speaker’s decision not to conduct a secret ballot for the voting of the MLAs and to direct the Speaker to conduct a fresh vote of confidence through secret ballot.
Meanwhile, the Madras High Court on Friday directed the Tamil Nadu government to hand over official copy of video footage of the trust vote proceedings in the Assembly on February 18 to the opposition DMK.
When a petition, filed by DMK working president M K Stalin, came up for hearing, acting chief justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and justice M Sundar asked the assembly secretary Jamaludeen to hand over the video recording of the series of events during the trust vote where the DMK legislators were evicted.
In his plea, Stalin urged the court to declare as illegal, null and void, the speaker’s decision, taken on the floor of the Assembly, on the confidence motion moved by chief minister Edappadi K Palanisamy on February 18 last.
In his public interest writ petition, he also sought a direction to the speaker to conduct a fresh floor test by holding secret ballot, without evicting any of the MLA, under the observation of a monitoring committee consisting of the secretary to the state governor, chief secretary and an official drawn from the Election Commission of India not below the rank of chief electoral officer of a state.