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Special Sunday Sitting: Madras High Court Gives Nod For AIADMK General Secretary Election, Restrains Party From Declaring Results For Now

Upasana Sajeev
19 March 2023 1:34 PM GMT
Special Sunday Sitting: Madras High Court Gives Nod For AIADMK General Secretary Election, Restrains Party From Declaring Results For Now

The Madras High court on Sunday held a special sitting to hear the pleas of expelled AIADMK leaders Manoj Pandian, R Vaithilingam & JCD Prabhaka for stay on the election to the post of general secretary, which is scheduled to be held on Thursday.

Pandian has already challenged the resolutions passed by the AIADMK Party in its meeting held on July 11 2022 . Through the resolutions, Pandian, along with others including former CM O Paneerselvam were expelled from the party and Edappadi Palaniswami was appointed as the interim general secretary.

Justice K Kumaresh Babu, who heard the applications against the conduct of elections, allowed the elections to go on as per the dates fixed. However, the party stands restrained from declaring the election results till the disposal of the applications.

"On instructions from the parties, the learned Senior Counsels appearing on behalf of respondent Nos.1, 2 and 4 made a submission that if the applications could be heard on 22.03.2023 and disposed of earlier by this Court, they would be willing to not declare the results till the disposal. The said submission is recorded and the applications shall stand adjourned to 22.03.2023," the court said.

The court has listed the the matter for hearing on March 22 to hear all the pending interim applications together.

During the course of the arguments, 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.

Senior Counsel C.S. Vaidyanathan and Vijay Narayan, appearing for the party, however submitted that as per settled law, the court should refrain from interfering into the internal affairs of a political party. It was also submitted that once an election process had started, the courts should interfere only if there was some injustice.

The party also questioned the applicants and claimed that they were merely a proxy for the expelled former leader O Paneerselvam. The applicants had slept on their rights and have come to court after almost 8 months, it was contended.

The party also submitted that the balance of convenience was in the favour of conducting the elections. If such prayers were to be allowed, it would be detrimental to the interests of the party, it was submitted.

"Their attempts are to shake the foundation of the party. This cannot be countenanced. Balance of convenience is in the favour of stable functioning of the party. We are dealing with the future of a party. If such prayers are allowed it'll be detrimental to the interest of a party. We are looking at the interests of the some individuals as against that of the party," Senior Counsel CS Vaidyanathan said.

Case Title: Paul Manoj Pandian @ PH Manoj Pandian v. All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and others

Case No: OA 235 of 2023 (and other connected)

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