THE SUPREME Court on Friday asked the Madras High Court to decide afresh former Chief Minister and AIADMK leader O Paneerselvam’s (OPS) plea against the July 11 general council meeting of the party wherein he was expelled.
A bench of Chief Justice of India N V Ramana, Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli asked the High Court to decide the matter in three weeks during which it said the two rival faction led by OPS and Edappadi K Palaniswamy (EPS), who was elected interim general secretary of the party, should maintain status quo.
“We request the High Court to dispose of the matter preferably within a period of three weeks and till such time, the status quo has to be maintained by the parties. We have not expressed any opinion on merits…,” the apex court said.
It, however, refused to restore the status quo as existing before the general council meeting. “Certain things that have to happen we can’t restore that but we can ask them to not change the status quo. We will set time limits,” the CJI Ramana said as Senior Advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for OPS, urged the court to restore the status quo as existing July 11, 2022, as OPS had been removed without following the procedures laid down under the rules.
On July 6, the top court had stayed the Madras High Court division bench’s June 23 order that restrained the passing of any unannounced resolutions in the AIADMK’s general and executive council meetings. This came as a relief to the EPS camp which had plans to change the dual leadership structure of the party under which EPS and OPS led the party as coordinator and joint coordinator.
Appearing for OPS on Friday, Senior Advocate Guru Krishnakumar said some “extreme decisions” were taken at the July 11 meeting and that OPS was expelled from the party.
He contended that the meeting was held in contravention of the bye-laws.
“They’ve removed me from the post of the treasurer and they’ve abolished the post of treasurer. If that notice is contrary to the by-laws then all the consequences will go,” he argued.