In his first recusal after taking charge as Attorney General, senior advocate KK Venugopal told the Supreme Court that he cannot appear in the case filed by O Panneerselvam camp of the AIADMK asking for a fresh trust vote in the Tamil Nadu assembly saying he had earlier given legal opinion to the Panneerselvam faction.
The apex court had sought the assistance of Venugopal in the matter asking if there is any provision for conducting a secret ballot vote during the trust vote in an Assembly
A bench of justices Dipak Misra and A.M. Khanwilkar then asked Venugopal to inform this to Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar and said the SG shall then assist the court when the matter comes up for hearing on July 11.
“See then this is what we are planning. You Inform the solicitor general about the recusal. Ask him to assist in the matter,” the bench said, and posted the matter for further hearing on 11 July.
Panneerselvam, in his petition, has alleged that he had resigned under duress and has challenged the violence-marred proceedings of the February 18 trust vote in the Tamil Nadu Assembly. Panneerselvam has also alleged that MLAs were threatened to vote for
Palaniswami and has sought another trust vote via secret ballot. The petition was filed by Panneerselvam's aide K Pandiarajan. On February 16, Palaniswami was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu following a bitter power struggle between Panneerselvam and VK Sasikala.
Two days later, Palaniswami won the trust vote 122-11 in the 234-member assembly. The floor test had witnessed chaotic scenes that led to the eviction of the main opposition DMK and a walkout by its allies in protest.