The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has submitted a petition to the Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker, M Appavu, requesting the declaration of the Tirukkoyilur assembly seat as vacant.

This follows the conviction of DMK senior leader and former minister K Ponmudy by the Madras High Court in a disproportionate assets case. As a result of the conviction, Ponmudy was disqualified as a legislator.

Recently, the Vilvancode assembly seat was also declared vacant after the sitting MLA, Vijayadharani, switched allegiance from the Congress to the BJP and tendered her resignation as an MLA.

Tamil Nadu Leader of Opposition Edappadi Palaniswami wrote to the Speaker in connection with the disqualification of K Ponmudy and the consequent announcement of a vacancy in his seat.

“You are aware that under Section 8(1) of the Representation of People Act, 1951, any person who has been convicted of an offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, stands disqualified from being a member of the Legislative Assembly,” his letter to the Speaker stated. He further urged M Appavu to issue a notification in this regard and declare the seat vacant to go to by-poll.

Palaniswami, in his letter, also asked the Speaker to act free from bias in the matter at hand. He also said that the Speaker’s alleged “failure” to carry out constitutional duty was “shocking”.

The Madras High Court in December 2023 convicted former Tamil Nadu minister K Ponmudy in a disproportionate assets case, overturning his acquittal in the case. On June 28 of that year, a principal sessions court in Vellore acquitted Ponmudy and his wife in the said case, stating that the prosecution had failed to produce sufficient evidence.

Published By:

Srishti Jha

Published On:

Mar 2, 2024

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