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Tamil Nadu LoP writes to speaker, demanding disqualification of K Ponmudi as legislative assembly member

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Chennai (Tamil Nadu) | March 1, 2024 7:55:24 PM IST
Tamil Nadu Leader of Opposition, Edappadi Palaniswami, wrote to Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly M. Appavu on Friday in connection with the disqualification of K. Ponmudi as a member of the state assembly and the consequent announcement of a vacancy in the assembly seat.

"Your office is aware of the fact that K. Ponmudi, who was elected from (76) Tirukkoyilur Assembly Constituency and who was also a minister in the present government, had been convicted of offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 for having assets disproportionate to the known source of income by the Madras High Court vide its order dated December 21, 2023. The Supreme Court has not stayed the order of conviction passed by the High Court," Palaniswami said in his letter.

"You are also aware that under Section 8(1)(m) of the Representation of 4 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," he added.

The AIADMK general secretary also reminded the speaker to issue notification in relation to the declaration of vacancy.

"You are also aware that even though Section 8(4) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, provides that such disqualification does not take effect until the appeal filed by the disqualified member is heard. The same has been declared illegal by the Supreme Court in Lily Thomas vs. Union of India, reported in (2013) 7 Supreme Court Cases 653," Palaniswami said in his letter.

"Therefore, the aforesaid Member of the House, K. Ponmudi, is disqualified with effect from December 21, 2023, and yet you have not taken any steps in relation to the declaration of vacancy and issuing notification in this regard. Such failure on your part is a dereliction of your constitutional duty," he added.

Palaniswami also called upon the speaker to act unbiasedly in the matter.

"I, therefore, call upon you to act unbiasedly and in such a manner as is expected of a dignified constitutional authority. In the past, when such incidents happened, the people of your office acted as was expected of them in a non-partisan manner. However, despite being aware of the situation, the failure on your part to do your constitutional duty is shocking," the AIADMK general secretary said in the letter.

"I call upon you to do the needful at the earliest without any further delay," the letter added. (ANI)

 
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