Madras HC refuses to stay AIADMK General Body Meet to be held today; Meet to decide political fate of VK Sasikala among other issues

Madras High Court

The AIADMK General Body meeting is to be held this morning in Chennai suburb- Vanagaram. It will be the first meeting after the merger of its two factions of the party led by chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswamy and his predecessor O. Panneerselvam. The political fate of the party General Secretary VK Sasikala in the party would be decided in the meeting. 

The legal hurdles against holding the event were removed with the Madras High Court in its late night hearing yesterday refusing to stay the proceedings. The plea was filed by a MLA of the party P Vetrivel who is said to be a loyalist of sidelined party leader and Sasikala's nephew T T V Dhinakaran.

A Division Bench comprising Justices Rajiv Shakdher and Abdul Quddhose last night upheld an order of a single bench judge dismissing a plea to stay the meeting. The court made it clear that any decision taken at the impugned meeting will be subject to the final outcome in the appeal and posted the matter to 23rd October.

Earlier in the day, the judge of the single bench, Justice C V Karthikeyan in his order had dismissed seeking a stay on the meeting. The judge also imposed a fine of one lakh rupees on him for "wasting" the time of the court. Dismissing the case the Judge said the applicant has approached the court only in his individual capacity.

The court asked him to file his case before the Election Commission. Meanwhile, the Bengaluru City Civil Court has granted a stay against holding the AIADMK General Body meeting. Hearing a petition by the party’s Karnataka wing leader Pugalendi, the court ordered a stay and posted the case for further hearing tomorrow. 

However, the party functionary Anwar Raja told journalists in Chennai that today’s meeting will be held as planned. The party lawyers said the High Court decision to allow the meet would have an over-ruling effect over the lower court order, clearing the way for the meet. The meeting was being strongly opposed by Dhinakaran all along. 

"The first ever AIADMK apex body meeting post the merger is widely believed to take crucial decisions including on the political fate of VK Sasikala in the party. She had been made its General Secretary as an ad-hoc measure, in a similar meet in December last. However, her eviction from the party was made a precondition for the merger of Panneerselvam’s faction. The formalization of the party’s new governing mechanism in the form of a steering committee is widely expected to be another important decision to be taken in today’s meet.

In the steering committee, Panneerselvam and Edappadi Palaniswamy are set to be the two key persons. However, observers say, the fight within the party is unlikely to subside anytime soon, with the rebellious TTV Dhinakaran enjoying a sizable following among its legislators. In this situation, all eyes are now on the outcome of the AIADMK’s highest decision making body.

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