The Madras High Court on Wednesday extended the stay on the floor test in the Tamil Nadu Assembly until further orders. On September 14, it had held that there will be no floor test in the House till Wednesday.

The court was hearing a petition filed by 18 AIADMK legislators who had moved court after Tamil Nadu Speaker P Dhanapal disqualified them from the Assembly on Monday. The MLAS are all supporters of TTV Dinakaran, who was ousted as the deputy general secretary of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

Dinakaran’s lawyer, senior advocate Dushyant Dave, alleged that the Speaker had misused the anti-defection law – the 1986 Tamil Nadu Assembly Members Party Defection law – to disqualify the 18 MLAs. Dave questioned why no committee was set up as per the laws of the Assembly to conduct an inquiry before the legislators were disqualified.

He also alleged that the Speaker was “influenced by somebody”. “The MLAs did not vote against the party or resign,” the senior lawyer said. “So where is the question of defection? The Speaker is depriving the MLAs of their rights.”

Speaker P Dhanapal’s lawyer Aryama Sundaram told the court that there could be no floor test in the Assembly at least for a few weeks till counters are filed.

Dinakaran’s AIADMK supporters and Opposition party Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam have been calling for Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami to prove his majority in the Assembly since his faction of the party merged with O Panneerselvam’s, who is now the deputy chief minister of Tamil Nadu. If a floor test were to be held now, Palaniswami would be able to prove his majority with the 18 Dinakaran supporters disqualified.