Chief Justice asks DMK MLAs to approach single judge

Stalin, 17 others challenged fresh notices issued


Chief Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi of the Madras High Court on Monday said DMK president M.K. Stalin and 17 of his party MLAs must first approach a single judge of the High Court, challenging fresh notices issued to them on September 7 for breach of privilege proceedings initiated for displaying Gutkha sachets in the Assembly in July 2017.

Leading the first Division Bench along with Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, the Chief Justice told advocates Amit Anand Tiwari and S. Manuraj that the writ petitions of the 18 MLAs would have to be listed for admission only before the single judge holding the relevant portfolio at present and not before a Division Bench.

The lawyers had made a mention before the Chief Justice’s bench for early hearing of the new cases because it had on August 25 disposed of previous cases filed by the MLAs and held that similar notices issued to them in August 2017 suffered from foundational errors before leaving it open to the Committee of Privileges to issue fresh notices.

As per procedure

The Chief Justice told them that his Bench had disposed of the 2017 writ petitions because they had been referred to the Bench by a single judge in view of the importance of the matter.

Now that the MLAs had filed fresh writ petitions, they must be placed first before a single judge as per procedure, he added.

The lawyers accepted the CJ’s advice and agreed to make a mention before the single judge concerned.