AIADMK leadership row: SC stays Madras HC order retraining resolutions in general council meeting

New Delhi, July 6 The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the Madras High Court order, which restrained the passing of resolutions in AIADMK general council meeting and executive councils in connection with the single leadership of the party.

A vacation bench comprising Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Krishna Murari said: “In view of the facts and circumstances of case and subject matter of litigation and high court orders, it is considered appropriate that operation and effect of order June 23, 2022 shall remain stayed..”. The top court also issued notice on the plea of former chief minister of Tamil Nadu Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) against the Madras High Court order.

On July 4, Senior advocate C.S. Vaidyanathan mentioned the plea before a vacation bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and J.K. Maheshwari and urged the court for an urgent hearing in the matter. Vaidyanathan contended the high court held an extraordinary sitting at midnight at the residence of one of the judges on the bench and an order was passed restraining the general council from passing any resolutions.

A counsel – representing the M. Shanmugham of O. Paneerselvam group on caveat — said there was no urgency to list the matter during the court’s vacation. The counsel contended that contempt petitions were filed due to breach of court’s directions.

Vaidyanathan submitted before the top court that this is judicial interference with a political party’s internal functioning. He added, alleging violation of the interim order, contempt petitions have been filed and they are scheduled for consideration before a division bench today. After briefly hearing arguments advanced by counsel, the top court agreed to list the matter on July 6, subject to the approval of the Chief Justice of India. The high court division bench ruled that no unannounced resolutions could be taken up at the meeting of the AIADMK general and executive councils.

The high court’s order was passed in an intra-court appeal filed by M. Shanmugham, AIADMK’s general council member challenging single judge order, declining to restrain the party from making any amendments to its bye-laws.

The dispute is connected with the changing of the dual-leadership structure of AIADMK, where O. Paneerselvam (OPS) and EPS, were leading it as coordinator and joint coordinator. EPS group pressing for unitary leadership.

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