28 March 2023 6:30 AM GMT
The Madras High Court has rejected the applications filed by expelled AIADMK leaders seeking a stay on the operation of the General Council resolutions by which they were dismissed from the party. The court also rejected the applications filed by the leaders seeking a stay on the General Council elections.Justice Kumaresh Babu passed the orders on pleas by expelled leaders of the AIADMK party...
The Madras High Court has rejected the applications filed by expelled AIADMK leaders seeking a stay on the operation of the General Council resolutions by which they were dismissed from the party. The court also rejected the applications filed by the leaders seeking a stay on the General Council elections.
Justice Kumaresh Babu passed the orders on pleas by expelled leaders of the AIADMK party - O. Panneerselvam, P.H. Manoj Pandian, R. Vaithilingam and J.C.D. Prabhakhar challenging the party resolution dated July 11 2022 by which they were removed.
The single judge noted that the Supreme Court, in its order dated 23.02.2023 had already held that the convening of the General Council was valid. That being so, the unanimous decision taken by the members of the General Council, which had the powers to amend the party bye-laws was valid.
I have already found that there is no dispute as regards to the power of the General Council to amend the Rules and the fact that a overwhelming majority of the General Council had unanimously passed the resolution on 11.07.2022, to amend the bye-laws of the first respondent, I am of the view that prima facie, the resolutions passed in the General Council will have to be valid.
The court added that if the contention of the applicants was to be accepted and an injunction was to be granted, it would be result in a situation of status-quo ante ordered by the single judge which was later reversed by the division bench. The Apex Court had also affirmed the decision of the division bench and had observed that a situation of status quo would be detrimental to the interests of the party. Thus, the court noted that there was no balance of convenience in favour of the applicants to allow the injunction as prayed for.
The Hon'ble Apex Court in the aforesaid judgment has held that it could be drastically detrimental to the interest of the political party, which is a recognized political party with the Election Commission of India, if the order of the learned Single Judge was to remain in force till the decision of the suit. In the present case also if an injunction is granted as prayed for by the applicant, then a status quo ante would prevail upon and the same would again be not in the interest of the political party.
Senior Counsel Guru Krishnakumar, appearing for O Paneerselvam had contended that the party resolutions were arbitrary and against the democratic principles of the party. He submitted that the extreme disciplinary action of removal from party was taken without affording an opportunity to defend the case.
Earlier, Senior Counsel P.S. Raman, C. Manishankar and A.K. Sriram appearing for the applicants challenged the election notification. It was submitted that the party had committed a judicial overreach by announcing elections when applications challenging earlier resolutions are pending. The court, however, gave nod for conducting the general secretary elections but directed the party not to declare the results till the challenges were disposed.
On behalf of the party and the general council, Senior Counsel C.S. Vaidyanathan and Vijay Narayan submitted that the resolutions were passed keeping in mind the wish of the party founder who intended the party to have a single leadership. Further, the council was the supreme body of the party, and it had been bestowed with the powers to take any decision concerning the party. It was also submitted that the leaders were merely making allegations without actually proving how irreparable injury will be caused to them.
The expelled leaders have also preferred an appeal against the single judge order. A division bench of Justice R Mahadevan and Justice Mohammed Shaffiq have agreed to hear the appeals tomorrow after the counsel for the applicants made a mention for early hearing.
Case Title: Paul Manoj Pandian @ PH Manoj Pandian v. All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and others
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Mad) 103
Case No: OA 235 of 2023 (and other connected)