The Madras High Court on Monday rejected a PIL plea to quash an order of the Election Commission of India, affixing its seal of approval to the amendments made to the AIADMK party constitution at the general council meeting held in 2017, which saw among others, O Panneerselvam and K Palaniswami being elevated as Coordinator and Joint Coordinator, respectively, of the party.
The first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P D Audikesavalu rejected the plea, while dismissing a PIL petition from advocate B Ramkumar Adityan of Tiruchendur, a party man, seeking to quash the May 4 2018 order of the ECI as illegal and consequently direct the other authorities to strictly adhere to all the provisions of the Rules and Regulations and the constitution of the AIADMK, while holding organisational elections.
The ECI could not be expected to interfere with the internal issues of the political parties and check whether their rules and regulations were adhered to scrupulously. If at all the petitioner was aggrieved, he could move the civil court for remedy, the bench said.
According to the petitioner, after the death of party supremo J Jayalalithaa on December 5, 2016, the AIADMK general council held on December 26 that year appointed her close aide V K Sasikala as the interim general secretary. However, the ECI did not approve her appointment and the resolutions. The then Chief Minister O Panneerselvam submitted his resignation in February 2017, but later announced that he had been forced to do so.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court convicted Sasikala in a disproportionate assets case and sentenced her to imprisonment. She appointed her nephew T T V Dhinakaran as the deputy general secretary of the AIADMK.
However, following factional disputes during the by-election to Radhakrishnan Nagar Assembly constituency, which fell vacant due to the death of Jayalalithaa, the ECI in March 2017 had frozen the AIADMK’s ‘Two Leaves’ symbol.
Thereafter, a meeting of the general council was held on September 12, 2017 where 12 resolutions were passed. By one of the resolutions, Panneerselvam was appointed as the Co-ordinator and Palaniswami as the joint co-ordinator of the party.
The petitioner contended that the ECI ought not to have given its approval to the amendments. He also insisted on conducting intra-party elections as per the AIADMK constitution prevailing in 2016.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines