Tamil Nadu

Madras High Court dismisses case against amendments made to AIADMK's constitution

A view of the Madras High Court Building in Chennai. File   | Photo Credit: K. Pichumani

The Madras High Court on September 20 dismissed a writ petition which sought to quash an order passed by the Election Commission on May 4, 2018 accepting the amendments made to All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s (AIADMK) constitution in the party general council meet held on September 12, 2017.

Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P.D. Audikesavalu held that the ECI's acceptance of the amendments, to the party rules, did not appear to be out of order since such acceptance was just a ministerial act performed on receipt of communications from authorised representatives of political parties.

The judges said the ECI could not be expected to interfere with the internecine issues of every party and find out whether its rules and regulations had been followed scrupulously. Still, if the petitioner had any grievance, he could approach the civil court seeking appropriate remedy against the party, the first Division Bench said.

The writ petition had been filed by advocate B. Ramkumar Adityan of Thoothukudi. The petitioner claimed to have joined AIADMK in the presence of its former general secretary Jayalalithaa in Kovilpatti on December 6, 2000. He renewed his membership in 2014 and it expired in 2019. Thereafter, it could not be renewed because the party did not take any steps for renewal, he claimed.

He said after the death of Jayalalithaa on December 5, 2016, the party's general council appointed her close aide V.K. Sasikala as the interim general secretary. However, the ECI did not approve her appointment and the resolutions passed in the general council meet held on December 29, 2016. Subsequently, in February 2017, the then Chief Minister Mr. Panneerselvam submitted his resignation but only to do a volte face within days thereafter and claimed to have been coerced to resign.

In the meantime, the Supreme Court convicted Sasikala in a disproportionate assets case and she had to be jailed. Therefore, she appointed her nephew T.T.V. Dhinakaran as the deputy general secretary of the party. However, factional disputes arose during the by-election to Radhakrishnan Nagar Assembly constituency which fell vacant due to the death of Jayalalithaa, and hence the ECI froze the AIADMK's 'two leaves' symbol in March 2017.

Thereafter, a general council meet was held on September 12, 2017 when as many as 12 resolutions were passed. One of those resolutions was to substitute the all powerful post of general secretary with coordinator and joint coordinator posts to which Mr. Panneerselvam and Mr. Palaniswami were appointed respectively by way of another resolution in the same meet.

Opposing the drastic changes made to the party's constitution, the petitioner said the ECI ought not have approved the amendments. He also insisted on conducting intra party elections in accordance with the constitution as it existed in 2016.


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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 5:33:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/madras-high-court-dismisses-case-against-amendments-made-to-aiadmks-constitution/article36561574.ece

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