Supreme Court to hear on January 30 plea on Election Commission not accepting Edappadi Palaniswami signature for AIADMK poll nomination

The polls panel cites the AIADMK general council case pending before the apex court as the reason; last date for filing nomination for the upcoming Erode (East) byelection is February 7

Updated - January 28, 2023 02:25 am IST

Published - January 27, 2023 02:08 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Edappadi K Palaniswami. File

Edappadi K Palaniswami. File | Photo Credit: E Lakshmi Narayanan

The Supreme Court on January 27, 2023 asked the counsel of Tamil Nadu’s former Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami to make an oral mentioning on January 30 for the urgent hearing of his plea claiming that the Election Commission of India (ECI) is refusing to accept his signature as AIADMK party’s interim general secretary during the nomination process ahead of the by-election to Erode (East) Assembly Constituency in Tamil Nadu.

Appearing before Bench led by Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, senior advocate Aryama Sundaram and advocate Balaji Srinivasan, for Mr. Palaniswami, said the ECI was not allowing him to sign on the requisite forms and authorise the party’s candidates for the by-election.

The last date for filing nomination is February 7. The dates of polling and counting are February 27 and March 2, respectively.

“The Election Commission refuses to accept the signature of interim general secretary Edappadi Palaniswami citing the pendency of AIADMK general council meeting case before the Supreme Court,” Mr. Sundaram submitted.

The petitions and disputes with AIADMK’s deposed coordinator, O. Panneerselvam, in connection with decisions taken in a general council meeting held on July 11, 2022 was heard and reserved for judgment earlier this month by an apex court Bench led by Justice Dinesh Maheshwari.

The general council meeting of July 11 had appointed Mr. Palaniswami as interim general secretary of the party and abolished the post of coordinator.

“Let’s see whether we can give orders on the AIADMK general council case before the last day of nominations (February 7). If the order is delayed, then will decide on providing interim relief,” the court said while asking Mr. Palaniswami’s side to file a proper mentioning memo and come back on January 30.

The application said the AIADMK party’s prospects in the by-election was at stake. The pendency of the dispute over the general council meeting between Mr. Palaniswami and Mr. Panneerselvam in the apex court ought not to hold the hand of the Election Commission.

“Irreparable injury and hardship would be caused to the AIADMK party and its primary members in the event this application is not allowed, as the AIADMK party will not be able to contest in the by-election owing to the hyper-technical objections of unauthorised persons… Directions sought now are for the AIADMK’s party interest alone and not for the private interest of any person… The application should be permitted in the interest of democracy as it would allow the largest opposition party in the State to contest the by-election,” Mr. Srinivasan submitted on behalf of Mr. Palaniswami in the court.

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