18 AIADMK legislators, who were disqualified by Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal last year, have decided unanimously to approach the Supreme Court appealing against Madras High Court's decision for upholding their disqualification.
Thanga Tamilselvan, one of the disqualified MLAs and a staunch supporter of sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran, said the decision was "unanimous" and accepted with "joy" by all the 18 MLAs.
The decision was taken after a discussion between the disqualified legislators and Dhinakaran in Madurai.
"It has been decided that we will go in for an appeal to show to the world that what the Speaker has done is a mistake. We are going to appeal in the Supreme Court," he told reporters.
Earlier in October, the Madras High Court had upheld the June 14 order which confirmed to the disqualification of 18 MLAs.
Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal had on September 18 last year disqualified the 18 MLAs owing allegiance to side-lined party leader Dhinakaran on the grounds that they had tried to pull down the AIADMK government in the state.
In view of the split verdict with Chief Justice Indira Banerjee upholding the disqualification and Justice Sundar setting it aside, Justice S Vimala was appointed to hear the petitions afresh.
However, the apex court named Justice Sathyanarayanan while declining to accept a prayer of the disqualified MLAs who raised apprehension of "bias" and sought to transfer the matter to the apex court.
Justifying the decision of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's (AIADMK) chief had whipped in recommending disqualification of the 18 rebel MLAs, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi submitted that the whip was compelled since the legislators acted against the party's decision.
He said the whip was also justified in sparing S T K Jakkaiyan form disqualification since he withdrew his complaint made to the Governor, and it was informed in writing to the Speaker.