In a midnight ruling, the Madras High Court restrained the general council of the AIADMK from taking any decision on single leadership.
A special division bench of Justices M Duraiswamy and Sundar Mohan of the high court passed the order in a midnight hearing which stretched till early morning, hours ahead of the AIADMK’s general council meeting on Thursday (June 23), after hearing a plea filed by former chief minister and party’s coordinator O Panneerselvam on an appeal against a single judge order.
The meeting of the main opposition party’s general council, its highest decision-making body, and the executive is slated at a marriage hall in Vanagaram in Chennai.
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As per the latest order of the bench, the meeting can take place as scheduled and the already decided 23 resolutions can be taken up and adopted. No other new resolutions touching upon making amendment to party bye-laws to abolish co-ordinator and joint co-ordinator posts and restoring the general secretary post to pave way for single leadership, shall be taken up.
In his plea, the AIADMK leader had requested the court to reverse the order issued on Wednesday (June 22) and restrain the council from passing any resolution on unitary leadership in the party.
The high court on Wednesday had declined to stop the AIADMK general council meeting and prevent its bylaws from being amended.
In his petition, OPS had argued that amendment to the party’s bylaws will enable former chief minister and colleague Edappadi Palaniswami to get elected as the AIADMK’s general secretary, which would further pave the way toward his goal to become the sole leader of the party.
It was a day of events providing contrasting jubilation to party leaders and their cadres. Around 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Justice Krishnan Ramaswamy, in his brief order, permitted the conduct of the meet, but refrained from restraining the EPS group from taking up any other fresh resolutions, which would ultimately result in unitary leadership.
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The aggrieved group met Chief Justice M N Bhandari and obtained his permission to prefer an appeal against the order of the single judge. The CJ nominated Justice Duraiswamy and Sundar Mohan as the judges to make a special sitting and hear the appeal. Accordingly, the bench sat at the senior judge’s residence and commenced the hearing around 1 am and passed its orders around 4 am on Thursday, which effectively led to joy and jubilation in the OPS camp.
Both OPS and EPS are the joint coordinators of the party and OPS has been wanting the dual leadership to continue.
(With inputs from agencies)