The Madras High Court today dismissed a plea by sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran to extend its October 31 deadline for settling the party symbol dispute case to February 28 next year. Justices M Venugopal and Abdul Quddhose of the Madurai bench said the court had set the deadline as it felt that a time-frame should be fixed for disposal of the dispute. It had accordingly directed the Election Commission (EC) to dispose it of before October 31 this year, the bench observed. The court had on September 15 directed the EC to decide before October 31 the matter related to the AIADMK’s ‘two leaves’ symbol, frozen by the poll body in March after two factions of the party staked claim to it.Dhinakaran, in his petition, had prayed for extension of the deadline, saying the EC had sought fresh submissions and it would only expand the scope of the dispute.
Besides, he had said that the EC should allow his group to file objections for the new submissions. Dhinakaran had filed the petition on October 3, days after the EC had rejected his plea to grant 15 days more to submit affidavits in the symbol dispute case and said the hearing would take place on October 6 as scheduled. Rejecting the petition, the judges said the EC had given time till yesterday for the petitioner to file his rejoinder or objections to the fresh submissions or documents. It had also agreed to hear the oral submission tomorrow (October 6).”It is not open to the petitioner now to take a contra-plea. Petitioner cannot approbate and reprobate in the eye of law. The plea of the petitioner cannot be acceded to prevent aberration of justice,” the judges said while dismissing Dhinakaran’s petition.
They had yesterday reserved orders on Dhinakaran’s plea after the counsel for Chief Minister K Palaniswami’s faction had sought its dismissal. The counsel had stated that the EC had given sufficient time till October 4 for submission of documents. Dhinakaran had claimed that 102 MLAs, 37 MPs and 1,912 general council and central executive committee members supported him. He submitted that the latest EC direction to make fresh submission would only enhance the scope of the dispute, and it would not be able to decide the dispute involving volumes of documents before October 31. Hence, he had sought extension of the deadline.
The high court bench had given the October 31 deadline for EC on a PIL by Ramkumar Adityan, an AIADMK member and advocate. He had sought a direction to the EC to conduct an election among the party’s general council and executive committee and MLAs and MPs, totalling 3,100, to decide which group had the majority. Adityan’s petition was filed on August 22, a day after the two factions led by K Palaniswami and his predecessor O Panneerselvam merged, sidelining jailed party chief V K Sasikala and her deputy Dhinakaran.