Order on June 23 general council can’t be extended indefinitely: HC

We are not expressing any opinion on meeting slated for July 11: judges

Updated - July 04, 2022 11:52 pm IST

Published - July 04, 2022 02:11 pm IST - Chennai

Justices M. Duraiswamy and Sunder Mohan made it clear that an order passed by them at 4.40 a.m. on June 23 was only with respect to the meeting held on that day.

Justices M. Duraiswamy and Sunder Mohan made it clear that an order passed by them at 4.40 a.m. on June 23 was only with respect to the meeting held on that day.

The Madras High Court on Monday made it clear that an order it had passed at 4:40 a.m. on June 23 was only with respect to the AIADMK’s general council meeting held on that day, and it cannot be extended for an indefinite period. The court made the written observation while hearing a plea to stall the next meeting, scheduled for July 11.

The Second Division Bench of Justices M. Duraiswamy and Sunder Mohan also wrote: “We are not expressing any opinion with regard to the general council meeting scheduled to be held on July 11.” It granted time till Thursday for senior counsel Vijay Narayan, representing Edappadi K. Palaniswami, to file his counter-affidavit to a series of sub applications.

General council member M. Shanmugum, represented by his counsel A.K. Sriram, had filed the series of sub applications in his pending original side appeal. In his first application, he had sought to restrain the AIADMK from convening its general council meet and also sought to stay the appointment of A. Tamil Magan Hussain as its presidium chairman.

The litigant had also sought to punish the AIADMK leaders Mr. Palaniswami, C.Ve. Shanmugam, K.P. Munusamy, D. Jayakumar, Dindigul C. Sreenivasan and Mr. Hussain for having elected the latter as the party’s presidium chairman in violation of the June 23 order and also deciding to hold the next general council meet on July 11.

Senior counsel P.H. Arvindh Pandian, representing O. Panneerselvam, told the Bench that its June 23 order had specifically mentioned that only the 23 draft resolutions, which had been approved by his client, could be passed in the general council held on that day and that no decision should be taken on any other issue.

In flagrant violation of the court order, the general council on that day passed a resolution appointing Mr. Hussain as the permanent presidium chairman, though such appointment was not part of the 23 draft resolutions approved by Mr. Panneerselvam, and also decided to hold the next meeting on July 11, the senior counsel said.

However, Justice Duraiswamy wondered how could the party be able to conduct any general council meet without appointing a presidium chairman and directed Mr. Narayan to produce on Thursday all records related to such appointment along with the counter affidavit to the sub applications seeking various relief.

When Mr. Pandian claimed that it was Mr. Palaniswami who had proposed the name of Mr. Hussain and sought the permission of the court to play a video recording of the June 23 general council proceedings to prove his claim, the judges said that they would take a call on the request after the filing of the counter affidavit.

Justice Duraiswamy also wondered if the Division Bench could entertain the plea for stalling the July 11 general council meet, through sub applications filed in the pending appeal, since it amounted to a separate cause of action. He felt that the litigant might have to approach the single judge again with the plea to stall the next meet.

Mr. Narayan too said, the maintainability of the present original side appeal itself was questionable and hence the court could not go on passing interim orders on such an appeal. When he requested the court to close the sub application to stall the July 11 meet, the judges said, it would be decided after the filing of counter affidavit on Thursday.

A single judge of the High Court had on June 22 refused to restrain the general council that met on June 23 from passing a resolution in favour of unitary leadership in the party. However, when an urgent appeal was moved the same night, the Division Bench restrained the council from passing any resolution but for 23 draft resolutions approved by Mr. Panneerselvam.

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