"All the material that was available at the time of passing of the order by the Speaker alone has been taken into consideration and this court cannot go into the subsequent events," the court observed while upholding their disqualification.
The court verdict means that by-elections will beheld on on all the seats that would be vacant and it would be an acid test for the AIADMK government, whose popularity has been on the decline since the demise of J Jayalalithaa, as evidenced by the result of the RK Nagar bypoll last year.
Facing the verdict bravely, Dinakaran refusing to term it a "setback" said it's an "experience". "The court judgment is not going to deter us. The verdict will only bring our party and MLAs together. We will face the future with more force," said Dinakaran.
Hailing the verdict, Tamil Nadu Law Minister CV Shanmugham said, "It's a victory for our party and a lesson for criminals."
The 18 MLAs, who owe allegiance to Dinakaran, were disqualified from their membership after they submitted a letter to then Governor C H Vidyasagar Rao, expressing no confidence in CM Palaniswami.
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