AIADMK Rift : Supreme Court Allows OPS & Other Expelled Members To Participate In General Council Meet To Select By-Poll Candidate
The Supreme Court on Friday allowed the 3 expelled members of the AIADMK - including former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Paneerselvam (OPS)- to participate in the party's General Council Meet to select the candidate for the Erode East by-poll for the upcoming bye-elections.
A Bench of Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy passed the interim directions today. Considering the fact that the last date for nomination for the by-poll is February 7 and a workable solution appears to be “in the interest of the AIADMK and in the interest and propagation of democracy”, the Bench passed the following interim arrangements only in relation to the forthcoming bye-elections.
In this regard, without prejudice to the rights of any other parties and conferring any additional right to any of the parties, the Court ordered the following:
1. As agreed to by the counsel appearing for Respondent 1 (Edappady Palaniswamy), the proposal as regards choosing the candidate of the party shall be put for consideration and the final decision is by the General Council of the party.
2. As regards the decision-making process and looking at the time constraints, it is also provided that such process may be taken up by way of putting necessary resolutions through consideration by circulation.
3. In this process of decision-making by the general council for arriving at the name of the candidate to be put up by the party in the coming election, the (three) appellants regarding whom a dispute has been raised and it is alleged that they have been expelled from the party, such expulsions shall not operate so far as the present purpose i.e., decision by the General Council to choose candidate for the bye-elections. In other words, the aforesaid three persons for the present purpose shall be entitled to put forward their views too, for the circulation process for this limited purpose of selection to the candidate.
4. The ultimate decision of the General Council, as regards to choosing the candidate, shall be conveyed to the ECI by Presidium Chairman Tamil Magan Hussain, if such communication is determined to be authorised by the party for the limited purpose of putting up of candidate in the ensuing bye election.
The Bench further made it clear that the judgement in the main matter remains reserved and this interim arrangement neither confers nor takes away any additional right of any party.
"In other words, arrangement by way of this order shall remain confined to the process of election pertaining to bye-elections and not beyond"
A copy of this order be forwarded to all the parties as also to the Election Commissioner forthwith, it added.
"You are entitled to vote also, you are entitled to views also" the Court said, pointing to EPS, while adding that this is the best the Court could have done at the given juncture.
Earlier this month, the Top Court had reserved its judgment in a batch of pleas relating to the political tussle between the two factions of AIADMK- - Edappadi Palaniswami (EPS) and AIADMK leader and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam (OPS) for leadership. The Court had issued notice in the matter in September, 2022.
Case Title: Thiru K. Palaniswamy Versus M. Shanmugam & Ors | SLP (C) No(s).11237/2022