Madras HC orders in favour of OPS in AIADMK power struggle
The power struggle in AIADMK has taken a turn with the Madras High Court giving an order in favour of former Chief Minister and coordinator O. Panneerselvam (OPS).
Chennai: The power struggle in AIADMK has taken a turn with the Madras High Court giving an order in favour of former Chief Minister and coordinator O. Panneerselvam (OPS).
The court on Wednesday ordered maintenance of the status quo as of June 23 in the AIADMK. The July 11 General Council (GC) meeting of the party had elected Edappadi K. Palaniswami (EPS) as the interim general secretary.
Justice G. Jayachandran of the Madras High Court passed the order on a petition filed by O. Panneerselvam and party General Council member, P. Varimuthu, who had challenged the legality of the GC meeting held on July 11 in which Panneerselvam and those close to him were ousted from the party.
The single-bench judge of the Madras High Court ordered that the coordinator and joint coordinator can convene the GC again in the presence of a commissioner to oversee the council meeting.
Advocate Guru Krishnakumar appearing for OPS said that the General Council was a small body and it was made to appear as if the decision of the GC was the opinion of the entire party. Aravind Pandian, another advocate representing OPS argued that the party presidium chairman cannot convene the GC meeting, but only can conduct it.
He said that there was no rule under the party bylaws that allows any other person other than the general secretary or the coordinator of the joint coordinator to convene the General Council meeting and, hence the GC was convened by the presidium chairman under Rule 19 and 20 of the AIADMK bylaw stands nullified.
However, the Palaniswami side represented by former Advocate General of Tamil Nadu, Vijay Narayanan, and two other lawyers argued that there were no illegalities or violations of the party code in calling the meeting.
They said that the actual announcement of the meeting was made on the floor of the June 23rd General Council meeting by the presidium chairman and the invitations were sent by the headquarters’ office-bearers as the post of coordinator and joint coordinator had lapsed following a decision taken by the party executive committee in December 2021.
Justice Jayachandran after hearing both sides passed the order of maintaining the status quo of June 23 and treated the General council meeting of July 11 as null and void. The judgment will lead to OPS returning as the coordinator and EPS as the Joint coordinator.