Madras High Court Justice S Vimala will be the third judge who will be hearing the 18 MLAs disqualification case in the court. Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh, the senior most judge of Madras HC made the appointment on Monday.
The appointment was made after the Chief Justice of Madras HC Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar delivered a split verdict in the MLA disqualification case on June 14.
The first woman to become the Director of a State Judicial Academy, S Vimala was appointed as Additional Judge of Madras HC in 2011. She was made permanent Judge in 2013.
Justice S Vimala will now be the deciding factor for the political future of the 18 MLAs in Tamil Nadu.
Speaker P Dhanapal had disqualified 18 AIADMK MLAs in September 2017 and a gazette notification was issued announcing their MLA seats as vacant under the Anti-Defection Act.
These MLAs had then submitted individual letters to the then Governor Vidyasagar Rao expressing a lack of confidence in Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami, and withdrew their support.
AIADMK Chief Whip S Rajendran filed a complaint with the Speaker that the disqualified MLAs were indulging in â€˜anti-partyâ€™ activities.
Since there was no explicit whip order, the MLAs moved the High Court seeking to quash the Speakerâ€™s decision and to restore their constitutional rights.
The verdict for this case was delivered on June 14 with CJ Indira Banerjee upholding the disqualification and Justice M Sundar quashing the disqualification.
Justice Banerjee had remarked that she found no reason to interfere with the order of the Speaker and hence stayed away from it. Justice Sundar, meanwhile, had remarked that the Speakerâ€™s decision violated the principles of natural justice and hence would be subject to judicial review.
Since the bench delivered a split verdict, CJ Banerjee mentioned that the case will be heard by a third judge. She also requested Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh to pick the third judge.