Madras HC says general council agenda requires coordinator’s prior nod 

Division Bench restrains the council from taking a call on unitary leadership 

June 23, 2022 09:48 am | Updated June 24, 2022 02:58 am IST - CHENNAI

Madras HC. File

Madras HC. File | Photo Credit: K. PICHUMANI

Holding that the subjects to be discussed by the AIADMK’s general council require the prior approval of the party’s coordinator [O. Panneerselvam], the Madras High Court in the early hours of Thursday restrained the council [which met during the day] from taking any decision on restoring unitary leadership as against the present practice of dual leadership.

Justices M. Duraiswamy and Sunder Mohan passed the interim order after hearing an urgent appeal, at the residence of the senior judge, between 3 a.m. and 4.40 a.m. Senior counsel Vijay Narayan and P.H. Arvindh Pandian argued the case for co-coordinator Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Mr. Panneerselvam respectively.

Advocate A.K. Sriram represented appellant M. Shunmugam, a general council member who had challenged the refusal of a single judge to restrain the council from taking a call on unitary leadership. Since the single judge’s order was passed at 8. 44 p.m. on Wednesday and the council meeting was scheduled at 10 a.m. on Thursday, a request was made for an urgent hearing of the appeal.

Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari granted permission for the urgent hearing at the residence of Justice Duraiswamy and the arguments commenced at 3 a.m. after the scrutiny of the appeal papers. At the end, the judges said the general council meeting could take place as planned at 10 a.m. on Thursday.

They, however, ordered that no decision be taken on any issue but for 23 draft resolutions that had already been approved by the coordinator. Though it was contended on behalf of Mr. Palaniswami that the general council members could also propose other resolutions, the judges rejected it.

Pointing out that the 23 draft resolutions had been approved by the coordinator on Wednesday, the Bench wrote, “Therefore, by the approval given by the 4th respondent [Mr. Panneerselvam] on June 22, 2022, it is clear that subjects that are to be discussed and decided in the general council meeting require his approval.”

“The general council will be at liberty to discuss any other matter apart from the 23 draft resolutions, however, no decision shall be taken in the general council meet with regard to the same,” the Bench said and adjourned further hearing of the appeal to July 19.

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