Madras HC Division Bench restrains AIADMK’s general council from amending its bylaws

A Division Bench of the Madras High Court early on Thursday restrained the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s general council from passing any resolution aimed at amending its bylaws so that the amendments could pave way for unitary leadership instead of dual leadership in vogue now.

Justices M. Duraiswamy and Sunder Mohan passed the interim order after hearing an urgent appeal at the senior judge’s residence between 2:40 and 4:30 am. The appeal was preferred against a single judge’s refusal to pass any kind of restraint order with respect to the resolutions to be passed by the general council, which is scheduled to meet on Thursday.

Justice Krishnan Ramasamy had heard applications filed by one general council member and three primary members of the party and delivered his verdict at about 8:40 pm on Wednesday. Immediately, the general council member M. Shunmugum filed an appeal and obtained permission for urgent hearing.

The court was told that the general council was scheduled to convene at 10 am on Thursday and hence there was a grave urgency in the matter. Senior Counsel PH Arvindh Pandian, represented the party coordinator O. Panneerselvam, before the single judge as well as the Division Bench and opposed any change in leadership.

In his order, Justice Ramasamy wrote: “It is well settled that in matters related to internal issues of an association / political party, the courts normally do not interfere leaving it open to the association / party and its members to pass resolutions and frame a. particular bye-law, rule or regulation for better administration of the party. Any decision is well within the collective wisdom of the general council and this court cannot insist the members to act in a particular manner. “

The judge had also agreed with senior counsel Vijay Narayan, representing the party’s joint coordinator Edappadi K. Palaniswami, that though one general council member and three primary members of the party had approached the court, none of them had made out a prima facie case for grant of interim injunction.

“In fact, the plaintiffs have come forward with the applications seeking interim directions based upon their apprehension that resolutions may be passed in respect of the amendment of the Rules and Regulations of the party. This court cannot presume what would take place during the general council meeting. on June 23, 2022, and issue interim orders / directions in advance, “the judge added.

Earlier, the council for the applicants had contended that no agenda for the general council meet had been circulated but feared that there was a possibility of the party’s constitution being amended to provide unitary leadership.

Mr. Pandian argued that his client Mr. Panneerselvam would not allow any other resolution, but for 23 draft resolutions that had been prepared regarding regular activities of the party, to be passed in the general council meet scheduled to be held at Vanagaram near Chennai on Thursday.

He contended that any resolution for amending the bylaws must emanate jointly from the coordinator as well as the joint coordinator of the party and then get ratified by the general council. “This has been the practice since the days of the party’s founder MG Ramachandran and also during the stint of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. The party holds a distinction of no resolution proposed by the party high command having ever been defeated in the general council,” he said.

However, Mr. Narayan told the court that the party never had the practice of circulating an agenda before the general council meeting. He said any proposal to amend the bylaws could emanate on the floor of the general council and it would get passed if a majority of the members were in favor of it.

“Whether that will happen tomorrow is entirely in the realm of speculation. It may happen or it may not happen,” he told the single judge and argued that the court could not pass an interim order when there was no certainty over what might happen tomorrow. .

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