Monday, October 2, 2023

Madras High Court: Neither of the two factions of AIADMK can have access to gold armour

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The Madras High Court said that neither of the two factions of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) – one led by O Panneerselvam (OPS) and the other by Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) can have access to the gold armour that the party uses each year to adorn the statute of late socialist Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar to commemorate his birth anniversary.

An order passed on October 26by Justice V Bhavani Subbaroyan of the Madurai Bench who said that the Thevar gold armour will be in the possession of the Ramanathapuram district revenue officer for the ‘Muthuramalinga Thevar Jayanti that is to be observed between October 27 and October 30.

The local Superintendent of Police has been ordered by the court to make adequate security arrangements for the event.

A petition has been filed in the High Court by EPS faction leader Dindigul C Sreenivasan seeking custody of the 13 kilogram gold armour that was purchased in 2014 by the late AIADMK chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minster J Jayalalithaa as a gift to be used for the event every year.

OPS has objected to Sreenivasan’s plea through an impleadment application saying that the party’s tussle over leadership was still pending before the Supreme Court.

A legal notice has been sent to the local branch of the Bank of India – where the armour is kept in a joint account held by the party and the Thevar Memorial – saying that the golden armour should not be handed over to the EPS camp.

The High Court heard both the factions and held that the prayer sought by the petitioner A and B cannot be implemented in the interest of law and order problem which might arise.

The Court said that the A and B party are under logger heads. In fact, the Hon’ble Division Bench in para No.49 has directed the parties to resolve their differences in the pending suit.

The Court is of the view that under these circumstances, it may not be feasible to accept the prayer made by the petitioner A party as well as the claim made by the impleading petitioner B party as lakhs and lakhs of people will be thronging to celebrate the occasion.

However, both the parties are directed to adhere to the directions issued by the Hon’ble Division Bench as the matter is subjudice.”

Court clarified that the celebration of the event and the adorning of the statue with the gold armour should not be stopped merely because there is a dispute between the two factions of the AIADMK. The order further stated,

“This Court is of the view that since the armour was directed to be placed on the deity coupled with an obligation in MoU that the said gold armour will be received by the treasurer of AIADMK party and the third respondent who would operate the said account and redeposit the same with Bank is certainly not possible as there is a claim and counter claim by A and B parties.”

The district revenue officer has been tasked with the responsibility of safeguarding the gold armour and redepositing the same with the bank after the ceremony is over.

However, the EPS and OPS factions were directed not to interfere in this process.

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