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Madras High Court comes to O. Panneerselvam’s rescue; Asks AIADMK general council not to decide on unitary leadership

Print edition : Jun 23, 2022 T+T-

Madras High Court comes to O. Panneerselvam’s rescue; Asks AIADMK general council not to decide on unitary leadership

AIADMK coordinator O. Panneerselvam and joint coordinator Edappadi K. Palaniswami at an Iftar party in Chennai in April.

AIADMK coordinator O. Panneerselvam and joint coordinator Edappadi K. Palaniswami at an Iftar party in Chennai in April. | Photo Credit: R. Ravindran

Just over eight hours after a single judge of the Madras High Court paved the way for former Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami (EPS) to take over as AIADMK’s undisputed leader at the general council (G.C.) meeting on June 23 by refusing to interfere in the internal mechanisms that govern a political party, a Division Bench, in a hearing that began past midnight, restrained the G.C. from taking a decision on the leadership question.

Justices M. Duraiswamy and Sunder Mohan, who heard the case at the residence of Justice Duraiswamy given its grave importance to the people of India, commenced the hearing at around 2.30 a.m. After hearing both sides, the judges ordered around 4.30 a.m. that the AIADMK G.C. should not decide on the question of a single person taking leadership of the party. It did not prevent the G.C. from discussing the leadership question though.

The sitting raised many eyebrows in the legal fraternity because even in the case of the Marina burial of former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, the judge pronounced the orders the next morning although the hearings went on past midnight. The Supreme Court had heard urgent cases beyond midnight, but these were related to imminent problems of miscarriage of justice such as the cases of those sentenced to death, including the hanging of a Nirbhaya case accused.

Read more about the ongoing leadership tussle between EPS and OPS here.