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Madras HC backs OPS, orders fresh General Council meeting of AIADMK

ANI | Updated: Aug 17, 2022 13:06 IST

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], August 17 (ANI): The Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered status quo ante as on June 23 with respect to the leadership of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).
Justice G Jayachandran of Madras High Court ordered in the favour of O. Panneerselvam, which meas that the election of Edappadi K Palaniswami as an interim general secretary during the July 11 general council meet will not be valid.
The court also ordered the conduct of a fresh general council meeting of the AIADMK.
O Paneerselvam had questioned the legality and violation of bylaws in convening the AIADMK General Council meeting.
O Panneerselvam and General Council (GC) member P Vairamuthu on Thursday requested the Madras High Court to change Justice Krishnan Ramasamy from hearing the case they have filed against the July 11 General Council Meeting stating that the judge has made personal comments about OPS.
The single judge strongly condemned Panneerselvam's side for filing a complaint with the Chief Justice to change the judge, and said "The act of bringing the judiciary into disrepute is an act of contempt and displeasure."
To this, OPS explained that they requested to be transferred to another judge because he had made personal comments about him.
OPS requested to Chief Justice that he need a different Judge to take care of the case, so Judge Krishnan Ramaswamy mentioned OPS's side that he could have appealed to himself if there was an amendment.
"Your side has acted to justify its views expressed in the July 11 order," said Justice Krishnan Ramasamy.
Earlier on July 29, the Supreme Court forwarded to the Madras High Court a plea filed by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam's faction against the recent AIADMK general council meeting in which OPS was expelled from the party.
A bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana asked the High Court to decide the case within three weeks.
It also asked OPS and Edappadi K Palaniswamy (EPS) factions of the AIADMK to maintain the status quo with regard to the affairs of the party.
In its General Council meeting held on July 11, the dual-leadership model in the AIADMK was ended and OPS was expelled from the party for "anti-party" activities during the party meeting.
In the meeting, EPS was elevated as the interim general secretary of the party.
On July 6 the Supreme Court stayed the June 23 division bench order of the Madras High Court order that had restrained the AIADMK General Council from amending the party bye-laws during its meeting.
A single judge of the High Court had earlier refused to restrain the General Council from passing resolutions aimed at amending its by-laws to pave the way for a unitary leadership instead of dual leadership.
It had rejected a batch of applications for an order against the passing of any such resolutions and held that it was for the General Council to decide upon its functioning and not for the court to dictate which resolution could be passed and which should not be passed.
Panneerselvam's camp, however, challenged the single judge order before a division bench which had restrained the General Council from passing any resolution other than the 23 drafts that had been approved by the party coordinator Panneerselvam.
Then EPS filed an appeal before the top court against a division bench order stating that in the General Council meeting held on June 23, the majority of members sought the abolition of the dual leadership model and for the adoption of a unitary leadership structure. The top court then stayed the division bench order and asked a single judge to decide the case.
Since the passing away of former Chief Minister and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) general secretary J Jayalalithaa, the party has been having a dual leadership with Panneerselvam and Palaniswami leading it as coordinator and joint coordinator respectively.
However, recently, disputes arose between both leaders, with the EPS group pressing for unitary leadership.
In the Supreme Court, Palaniswami had contended that the High Court division bench had erroneously interfered with the internal democratic process of the AIADMK, and the General Council, the supreme body of the AIADMK, was prevented from deciding on internal party affairs. (ANI)