The Madras High Court on Wednesday ruled that the July 11 general council meeting of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), where Edappadi Palaniswamy was elected as the interim general secretary of the party, is invalid and ordered the AIADMK to maintain the status quo as it existed on June 23, Live Law reported.
A single bench of Justice G Jayachandran ordered to conduct a fresh general council meeting of the AIADMK, and asked O Panneerselvam and Palaniswami be restored as the coordinator and the joint coordinator of the party, respectively. The court also suggested the nomination of an observer to conduct the meeting.
The court observed that only the coordinator and the joint coordinator had the powers to convene the General Council, AIADMK’s highest decision-making body.
The orders were passed on a plea by O Panneerselvam, popularly known as OPS, against the July 11 meet, when the general council expelled him and some of his associates from the party’s primary membership for “anti-party activities”.
EPS had accused Panneerselvam of siding with the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), and said that difficulties arose due to dual leadership.
Following the orders, celebrations erupted outside the residence of Panneerselvam outside his residence in Chennai.
On September 12, 2017, the positions of coordinator and joint coordinator were created during the general council meeting, after former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s death in 2016. Jayalalithaa had been conferred with the honorary title of “eternal general secretary”. The reason for creating the positions were cited as difficulty in decision-making and discontentment among cadres.
In July this year, the council members abolished the party’s dual leadership model, and had appointed OPS as the “single supreme leader”.
This happened after a different bench of the high court had dismissed a plea filed by OPS seeking to stall the meeting, Following this, OPS had moved the Supreme Court, challenging the high court’s order.
Meanwhile, on July 29, the Supreme Court asked the high court to take a decision within three weeks on OPS’ plea which contended that the July 11 meeting was in contravention of the party’s bye-laws.