Updated: August 25, 2021 8:32:42 am
A special court here on Tuesday asked top AIADMK leaders O Panneerselvam and K Palaniswami to appear before it on September 14, after the duo could not do so in response to the summons issued by it in a defamation plaint by an expelled party leader.
Initially after taking objection to the non-appearance of Panneerselvam, the AIADMK Coordinator and the joint coordinator Palaniswami Tuesday, in response to the summons issued earlier on the basis of a defamation complaint from V Pugalendhi, the special court constituted for exclusive trial of corruption cases against MPs and MLAs adjourned the hearing to September 14, when the duo should appear before it.
Earlier, when the complaint came up for hearing, the counsel for the two leaders told presiding officer Alicia that they could not make their presence before the court Tuesday in view of the ongoing Assembly session. They, being the Leader and deputy leader respectively of the opposition in the State Assembly, could not avoid the proceedings. While Palaniswami is the Leader of Opposition, Panneerselvam is Deputy leader of AIADMK Legislature.
Moreover, their petition challenging Pugalendhi’s defamation complaint before the High Court, is posted for hearing on Friday, the counsel added.
Not satisfied with the submission, the judge pointed out that as per the provisions in the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), the first appearance of the accused before the court is mandatory. The judge, however, granted time till September 14 to the duo to make their presence in the court without fail.
The first summon was issued on the basis of a defamation complaint from V Pugalendhi, who had been expelled from the AIADMK recently, for his alleged anti-party activities. The contents of the order removing him from the post of official spokesman of the AIADMK as also from the primary membership of the party, defamed him, Pugalendhi had contended.
And the Special Court had issued summons asking the AIADMK leaders to appear before it Tuesday.
Aggrieved, the duo had moved the Madras High Court with a plea to quash the proceedings pending before the special court and to dispense with their presence. Justice M Nirmal Kumar on Monday rejected their interim plea to dispense with their appearance before the special court and adjourned the matter till Friday (August 29).
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