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Courts can't interfere in internal matters of a political party: SC

Top court stays Madras HC's order on AIADMK meeting

The top court clarified that the proceedings with regard to the conduct of the AIADMK general council meeting can go on in accordance with the law. The top court clarified that the proceedings with regard to the conduct of the AIADMK general council meeting can go on in accordance with the law.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday observed that the courts cannot interfere with the internal matters of a political party and stayed a division bench order of the Madras High Court on June 23 restraining the AIADMK General Council from amending the party bylaw. The top court clarified that the further proceedings with regard to the conduct of the party general council meeting can go on in accordance with the law.

The order came on a petition filed by AIADMK leader Edappadi K. Palaniswami against the HC order.

The vacation bench comprising Justices Dinesh Maheswari and Krishna Murari stayed all further proceedings pursuant to the litigation over the party general council meeting. With the Supreme Court order, the meeting scheduled for July 11 by the Palaniswami camp is all set to happen. 

“The direction (of the HC) amounts to the court telling the party how it should function? Can such an order be passed even at the final decree stage, let alone the interim stage?,” the bench asked.

“It may be clarified that though the meeting dated 23.06.2022 has already taken place, in view of the further steps or proceedings taken up or likely to be taken up pursuant to the impugned order and pursuant to the observations or directions made therein, and looking to the questions raised in these petitions, it appears necessary and expedient that the operation of the impugned order should remain stayed until further orders of this court,” said the bench in its order.

The apex court further clarified that the July 11 meeting can go on as scheduled. “So far as the meeting of the General Council slated to be held on 11.07.2022 is concerned, the same may proceed in accordance with law and in that relation.” The court also said that O. Panneerselvam and his supporters can challenge it before a single judge bench of Madras High Court. The OPS faction had already filed a petition before the single judge bench and it is to be taken up on Thursday for hearing.

According to sources in the AIADMK, the invitation for the July 11 meet sent to the members said that “if the meetings of the executive committee and the general council cannot be held with the physical presence of the members due to Corona restrictions, then the meetings will be held through video conferencing.” 

Also the draft resolutions leaked to the media has a specific resolution on unitary leadership in the party and to handover the mantle to Palaniswami. The agenda sent by the headquarters office bearers on Tuesday to the general council members, says that the general council will discuss about creating the post of interim general secretary and electing a party functionary for the post. The agenda further says the GC meeting will make an announcement about the election to be held for the post of general secretary. 

Meanwhile V.K. Sasikala, popularly known as Chinnamma among her supporters, still claims to be the general secretary of the AIADMK. To a specific question by a scribe as to when she will join her nephew T.T.V. Dhinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, she shot back saying, “I am the general secretary of AIADMK.” Sasikala and her nephew Dhinakaran are still waiting to get into the party.

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