Supreme Court stays Madras HC order on AIADMK factional row – Times of India

Chennai News

NEW DELHI: Frowning at the Madras High Court’s intervention in the situation arising from factional feud in AIADMK, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said judiciary cannot assume jurisdiction to fix parameters for decision making on internal matters of a political party.
Unfettering the General Council of AIADMK to decide what it deems fit in its July 11, a bench of Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Krishna Murari said, “Can a court pass orders to a political party on how it should conduct its meetings? Who wants to do what in a political party is essentially a matter for the party.”
The politically haemorrhagic feud in the principal opposition party in Tamil Nadu had reached the Supreme Court with Edapaddi K Palaniswamy challenging the June 23 order of ta division bench of the Madras HC allowing rival O Panneerselvam the power to veto any resolution for single leadership in the party. The SC bench stayed the June 23 order.
Appearing for Palaniswamy, senior advocate C S Vaidyanathan told the that the Panneerselvam faction has now moved the HC seeking initiation of contempt proceedings for alleged violation of the HC orders during the June 23 meeting of the General Council. He said the next meeting of the GC is fixed for July 11 and argued that the rank and file of the party cannot be prohibited by the HC from discussing the issue relating to single leadership.
Panneerselvam faction through senior advocate Maninder Singh said the Coordinator and Joint coordinator mechanism adopted five years ago has worked well for the last five years and accused the Palaniswamy faction of attempting to destabilise the party.
But Singh faced a volley of questions from the bench. “Can we fix the boundaries for the supreme decision making body, the General Council? Is it within our jurisdiction? Can we decide what the internal mechanism is for decision making within a political party? Can we expand our jurisdiction to the General Council of the party and tell it how to function? The party must work out its disputes within the party,” it said.
The bench said “it is necessary and expedient to stay the June 23 order of the HC in view of the other steps and proceedings (contempt) taken up or likely to be taken up pursuant to the observations/directions of the HC and in view of the questions raised in the present petition (by Palaniswamy). Meeting of the General Council of AIADMK on July 11 will proceed in accordance with law… The Single Judge of the HC is free to proceed with the issues pending before him.”
Palaniswamy faction in its petition filed through advocate Balaji Srinivasan said the division of the HC has “erroneously interfered with the internal working mechanism of AIADMK and directed that the supreme body, the General Council, shall discuss only upon the 23 draft resolutions which had been urgently approved by Panneerselvam. The rationale that only the resolution agreed upon can be decided by the General Council is contrary to the democratic values of a political party.”
“The HC essentially provided Panneerselvam a veto power to rule on all the resolutions to be passed in the General Council meeting. Such veto power is not provided under the bye-law and Pannerselvam is misusing the same to paralyze the working of the AIADMK party,” the petitioner alleged.