Tamil Nadu: TTV’s last ditch bid to spike general council meeting fails

Division bench concurs with single bench verdict that meeting can go on, with caveat that any decision taken would be subject to final outcome of the appeal

Published: 12th September 2017 03:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th September 2017 08:40 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Monday showed a green signal for the AIADMK general council meeting with a rider that any decision taken at Tuesday’s meeting would be subject to the final outcome of the case filed by the rebel TTV Dhinakaran’s camp.

After a marathon hearing, a two-member bench in a late night order said “We are concurring with the conclusion reached by the single judge (Justice CV Karthikeyan).” Justice Karthikeyan’s order issued early in the day came down heavily on the petitioner MLA P Vetrivel for filing the “vexatious petition” and imposed a cost of `1 lakh on him for wasting court’s time.

The general council meeting was called by the ruling faction of the party led by ‘Edappadi’ K Palaniswami and the main agenda was to oust the party’s general secretary, V K Sasikala. Vetrivel’s petition challenged the meeting by arguing that only the party’s deputy general secretary, Dhinakaran, could call for the general council meeting.  

Hearing a hurried appeal filed by the Vetrivel’s counsel, the bench consisting of Justices Rajiv Shakedhar and Abdul Quddhose refused to grant any order to stay the meeting scheduled to take place on Tuesday at the Srivari Mandapam in Vanagaram. “It is needless to say that the observations made by us would not in any manner impact the decision that the Election Commission of India would take in the dispute before it, which is the subject matter,” the bench added and posted the matter for further hearing on October 23.
The bench, however, made it clear that any decision taken at the meeting would be subject to the final outcome of the appeal.

Earlier, TV Ramanujam, senior counsel for Vetrivel, argued that the invite for the meeting was not even signed by any party functionary and the agenda was also not made clear. He said the merger of the factions led by Palaniswami and deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam was invalid as only the Election Commission of India can validate the merger and all actions of the other side would amount only to disgrace of the ECI.

Dhinakaran’s counsel Chitra Sampath told the bench that in the absence of the interim general secretary, her client alone has the power to deal with the AIADMK party and its symbol. He is the only authorised person and he was representing the faction before the ECI. The ECI has not recognised the merget yet. The merger without the presence of the general secretary and the deputy general secretary is not valid. No invitation has been sent to her client for the council meeting. It is true that he is not a member of the general council, but his participation is imminent as the deputy general secretary of the party, she pointed out.

On behalf of Chief Minister Palaniswamy, his senior counsel Arima Sundaram said Dhinakaran cannot interfere in the matter as he is not even a member of the general counsel of the party. The meeting is convened to discuss the merger of both the factions. The other faction has no power whatsoever to prevent the Edappadi group from convening the meeting. The nomination of Sasikala as the interim gen secretary was announced in the name of the AIADMK, which called for the September 12 meeting, as well. The only thing is that at that point of time, there were no two factions. Why Vetrivel has approached the High Court, instead of moving the ECI, he asked and added that the present suit was only to create trouble, which deserves dismissal.

Another senior counsel MS Krishnan, representing O Paneerselvam, said that Vetrivel can very well participate in the meeting and raise his objections.Ramanujam finally quipped. “Let them conduct the meeting, but not in the party name.”Hearing the arguments, the court refused to pass any interim order and postponed the hearing.


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