The Madras High Court on Monday dismissed an application taken out by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader S. Semmalai complaining that the party’s former interim general secretary V.K. Sasikala had filed an appeal suit before the court by paying a court fee of just ₹500 though she ought to have paid over ₹75,000.
Justice S. Sounthar rejected the application which urged the court to issue a direction to Ms. Sasikala to remit the correct court fee and in default, to dismiss her appeal suit which had sought a declaration that her removal from the post of interim general secretary on September 12, 2017 was illegal and void and that she continues to hold the post.
The appeal suit had been preferred against an order passed by an Additional City Civil Court on April 11, 2022 rejecting Ms. Sasikala’s civil suit plaint plaint on the ground that the issue of party leadership had already been well decided by the Election Commission of India and therefore, entertaining her civil suit would be like flogging a dead horse.
The appellant had listed out several leaders including Edappadi K. Palaniswami, O. Panneerselvam, ‘Dindigul’ C. Srinivasan and Mr. Semmalai as respondents to her suit. Hence, the latter had taken out a sub application contending that she ought to have paid court fee at the rate of 3% of the value of the appeal suit.
Since the suit had been valued to be ₹25,28,000 before the city civil court, the same would apply before the High Court too and consequently, the appeal must be heard by a Division Bench and not a single judge, the applicant had contended. However, the contentions did not cut ice with the judge who found no merit in the application.