The Madras High Court on Tuesday issued a notice to Tamil Nadu’s chief election commissioner and chief electoral officer asking why elections in the 18 constituencies whose representatives were disqualified have not yet been held, PTI reported.

The state Assembly speaker had disqualified the 18 All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MLAs in September 2017 after they joined the camp of sidelined party leader TTV Dinakaran. Dinakaran later floated his own outfit. In October, the High Court upheld the speaker’s decision to disqualify the legislators.

Justices KK Sasidharan and PD Audikesavalu issued the notice on Tuesday after a public interest litigation said about 27 lakh voters in the 18 Assembly seats were without representatives and unable to air their grievances.

Apart from these seats, bye-elections also need to be held in Tiruvarur and Thiruparankundram, which fell vacant after the death of DMK chief M Karunanidhi and AIADMK leader AK Bose in August.

The bye-election in Tiruvarur was scheduled to be held on January 28. However, earlier this month, the Election Commission cancelled it, citing ongoing relief work in the area in the aftermath of Cyclone Gaja. Several parties, with the exception of TTV Dinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, had demanded that the bye-election be deferred.