Tamil Nadu

High Court reserves orders in Panneerselvam’s case against July 11 AIADMK general council

The Madras High Court on Thursday reserved orders in a case filed by expelled AIADMK leader O. Panneerselvam against the party’s July 11 general council meeting, in which resolutions were passed for his expulsion from primary membership of the party and for the election of Edappadi K. Palaniswami as the party’s interim general secretary.

Justice G. Jayachandran deferred his verdict after hearing arguments advanced by senior counsel Guru Krishnakumar, P.H. Arvindh Pandian and A.K. Sriram, appearing for Mr. Panneerselvam, and another litigant, ‘Amman’ Vairamuthu, alias P. Vairamuthu, who too was aggrieved by the general council meeting. Senior counsel Vijay Narayan and advocates S.R. Rajagopal and Narmadha Sampath represented Mr. Palaniswami.

Since the judge primarily wanted to know whether the meeting was convened strictly in accordance with the party’s bylaws, Mr. Narayan told the court that the party’s bylaws provide for convening a general council meeting within 30 days of the date when at least one-fifth of its members give a request in writing. Accordingly, 2,190 (82%) out of 2,665 members of the general council requisitioned a meeting on June 23.

Such requisition was made during the general council meeting held on June 23 in the presence of Mr. Panneerselvam, Mr. Narayan claimed. However, Mr. Pandian refuted the claim and said his client had walked out of that meeting. Thereafter, continuing his arguments, Mr. Narayan said that based on such a request, the party’s presidium chairman, Tamil Magan Hussain, announced that the next meeting would be held on July 11.

The announcement was telecast and published in almost all newspapers the next day, he said. Referring to the bylaws, he said that though 15 days’ notice was required for a regular general council meeting, there was no such requirement for a requisitioned meeting. Even assuming that 15 days’ notice was required for a requisitioned meeting too, there was a gap of 18 days between June 23 and July 11, he said.

The senior counsel contended that what was issued by the party headquarters on July 1 was only an invitation to the July 11 meeting, and it had been mischievously referred to as a notice by Mr. Panneerselvam. Further, stating that the election to the post of coordinator as well as joint coordinator of the party was conducted in December 2021 on the basis of a decision of the executive council, he said that decision was not ratified by the June 23 general council. Therefore, the posts of coordinator and joint coordinator had lapsed, he said.

Taking strong exception to such an argument, Mr. Krishnakumar told the court that the draft resolutions for the June 23 general council meeting had no reference whatsoever to the issue of ratification, and hence, it would be a fallacy to argue that the posts had lapsed. He asserted that Mr. Panneerselvam continued to be the coordinator of the party.

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Printable version | Aug 11, 2022 9:42:38 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/high-court-reserves-orders-in-panneerselvams-case-against-july-11-aiadmk-general-council/article65758337.ece