The Supreme Court will hear on July 6, the petition filed by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami (EPS), challenging the Madras High Court order that stayed the passing of any unannounced resolutions in the meeting of the AIADMK General and Executive Councils concerning the issue of single leadership of the party.
The order was passed by a Vacation Bench comprising Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice J.K. Maheshwari on Monday. The Apex Court observed that it would hear the plea on July 6, subject to the clearance given by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana.
The matter was mentioned by Senior Advocate C.S. Vaidyanathan, representing the EPS faction. He urged the Apex Court for urgent hearing, stating that the High Court had held an extraordinary sitting past midnight and passed the order at 4 am on June 23.
The Counsel representing a caveat for the party faction led by co-ordinator O. Panneerselvam, opposed the request for urgent listing, saying that it was an interim order and the High Court was seized of the matter.
He said the High Court order restraining the party from taking up any unannounced resolution interfered with the internal functioning of a political party. The Counsel further said that the order, passed in an Original Suit, was still pending before the High Court, and contempt petitions were filed as there was a breach of the directions in General and Executive Council meetings.
The Madras High Court had directed on June 23 that no unannounced resolutions could be taken up at the meeting of AIADMK General and Executive Councils here, restraining the camp led by Joint Co-ordinator EPS from initiating any such move over the issue of single leadership.
Tamil Nadu’s main opposition party’s General Council, its highest decision-making body, had met the Executive on June 23.
In a late-night hearing that stretched till early June 23, a Special Division Bench had granted the relief to party co-ordinator O Panneerselvam (OPS) at a special sitting held at the senior judge’s residence at Anna Nagar in the city, on an appeal against a single judge order.
No other new resolutions touching upon making amendments to party bye-laws to abolish Co-ordinator and Joint Co-ordinator posts and restoring the general secretary post to pave way for single leadership shall be taken up, the High Court had said.
Earlier at around 9 pm on June 22, a single-judge bench of the High Court in its brief order permitted the conduct of the meet but refrained from restraining the EPS group from taking up any other fresh resolutions, which would ultimately result in unitary leadership.
The aggrieved group led by OPS met High Court Chief Justice M N Bhandari after the order of the single-judge was pronounced and obtained his permission to prefer an appeal against the order.
The Chief Justice constituted a Bench of Justice M. Duraiswamy and Justice Sundar Mohan to make a special sitting and hear the appeal.
Accordingly, the bench sat at the senior judge’s residence and commenced the hearing around 1 am on June 23 and passed its orders around 4 am, which effectively led to joy and jubilation in the OPS camp.
The internal rumblings of the AIADMK over the single leadership issue, with a majority of district secretaries and others favouring EPS to take over the mantle, had prompted Panneerselvam (OPS) to write to the former seeking deferring the meet, even as speculations were rife that the GC and EC could discuss the matter to affect the unitary leadership.
The Executive and the General Council meet held together witnessed EPS emerging as the supreme leader and he was honoured with a decorated crown, a sword and sceptre by supporters.