Madras HC refuses to interfere with July 11 AIADMK general council meet – The Indian Express

Chennai News

Madras High Court on Monday declined to interfere with the decision to conduct the general council meeting of the AIADMK on July 11, called for by the dominant Edappady K Palaniswami (EPS) camp.

A division bench of Justices M Duraiswamy and Sunder Mohan expressed its declination, when the petition from M Shanmugum, a general council member from Tiruppur, seeking to punish former joint coordinator of the party, Palaniswami and others for contempt of the earlier orders of the court, came up for hearing today.

The petitioner can, at the best, approach Justice Krishnan Ramasamy, with the prayer to stall the conduct of the meeting, the bench said and adjourned further hearing on the plea for contempt to July 7.

The bench said that the interim order passed by them at the wee hours of June 23 pertained to the GC meeting held on that day alone.

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It also wondered as to how the GC meeting is scheduled to be held on July 11 in the absence of the Co-ordinator and Joint Co-ordinator of the party, who alone can take a decision on such issues, as per party bye-laws. The Palaniswami camp had recently claimed both Panneerselvam and Palaniswami ceased to continue as Coordinator and joint coordinator, following the June 23 general council, the party’s highest decision-making body.

The EPS camp is aggressively pushing for him to take up the single leadership of the AIADMK in the July 11 meet.

Shanmugam had moved the High Court to punish former Panneerselvam, Palaniswami, Presidium Chairman Tamilmagan Hussain and others including former Minister C Ve Shanmugam for allegedly violating the June 23 orders of the bench.

His interim prayer was to stay the appointment of Hussain as the permanent Presidium Chairman at the GC meeting and to restrain him from functioning so. Another interim prayer sought to restrain the contemnors from conducting the GC meeting on July 11.

The petition prayed the court to pass orders including imprisonment for their audacity in challenging the majesty of the law and to ensure compliance with its orders in future.

According to petitioner, a special bench of Justices M Duraiswamy and Sundar Mohan in the small hours of June 23 had permitted the (then) Co-ordinator and Joint Co-ordinator to convene the general council meeting at 10 a.m. the same day. It also permitted the council to discuss and take any decision as per the party rules and bye-laws with regard to the 23 items mentioned in the draft resolution and made it clear that the respondents shall not take any decision other than the 23 stated ones. The council members were at liberty to discuss any other matter, but no decision should be taken with regard to the same, the judges had said.

The court had also rejected the contention of the senior counsel for EPS that it was not the practice of the party to issue any agenda prior to the convening of the council meet and the subjects would be taken up as and when the council members raise the same. The judges had made it clear that the draft resolution containing 23 items that were to be discussed and decided in the council, had been approved by the (then) Co-ordinator on June 22, a day prior to the date of the council meeting. Therefore, by the approval given by the Co-ordinator it is clear that the subjects that are to be discussed and decided in the council Meeting requires his approval.

However, to the shock and surprise of the petitioner, EPS and his faction had committed multiple actions, which amounted to both willful breach and disobedience of the order passed by the judges.

While even negligence and carelessness can amount to disobedience, the action of all the respondents brazenly reveals contumacious disobedience of the Court’s order. Multiple actions of willful contempt that have demeaned the majesty of this court were staged, petitioner had alleged.

Hussain was appointed as the permanent Presidium chairman, all the 23 agenda items were thrown out, posts of Co-ordinator and Joint Co-ordinator were abolished and a decision was taken to hold the next general council meeting on July 11. There was also a demand for unitary leadership under EPS.

All this amounted to willful violation of the June 23 interim orders of the bench, attracting punishment under the Contempt of Court Act, petitioner said and sought to punish them for the same.