Ahead of LS polls, set back for OPS as Madras HC restrains him from using AIADMK flag, symbol

Chennai, Mar 19 (UNI) In what could be seen as a set back for ousted AIADMK leader O.Panneerselvam ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Madras High Court has restrained him from using the party flag, ‘two leaves’ symbol and the official letter head.

Passing yet another interim injunction, Mr Justice N.Satish Kumar also barred him from claiming to be the coordinator or even a primary member of the AIADMK from which he was expelled at the party’s General Council meet through an unanimous resolution.

The Judge also restrained him from interfering with the functioning of AIADMK General Secretary Edappadi K. Palaniswami until the disposal of a civil suit filed by the latter in September 2023 seeking permanent injunctions against the expelled leader.

The judge agreed with senior counsel Vijay Narayan, assisted by K. Gowtham Kumar, that Mr. Palaniswami would suffer irreparable loss, due to confusion among the party cadres, if the expelled leader was not restrained from continuing to project himself as the party leader especially during the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.

“From the overall discussions, this court is satisfied that the prima facie case and the balance of convenience is in the favour of applicant/plaintiff (Mr Palaniswami)… This court is of the definite opinion that if the defendant (MrPanneerselvam) is not restrained as sought by the plaintiff, it will lead to confusion and the suit itself will become academic,” the judge noted.

Though Mr. Panneerselvam argued that he had filed a civil suit challenging his expulsion from the party and the suit was pending in the High Court, the judge said, mere pendency of a challenge to the expulsion proceedings could not be a justification to continue to interfere with party affairs.

The judge also stated that Mr. Panneerselvam might call himself as the Coordinator of his own faction or of any other body but he could not call himself as the Coordinator of AIADMK which was a recognised political party from which he had been expelled through a resolution passed in the general council meet.

His claim over party leadership, even after the expulsion, would certainly lead to serious consequences of creating confusion among party cadres and failure on the part of the court to grant interim injunction would defeat the very purpose of the resolution passed by the party to expel him, the judge added.

Meanwhile, Mr Panneerselvam, who is the Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhaga Cadres Right Retrieval Organisation’s coordinator, has requested the Election Commission to recognise his group as AIADMK (OPS) and sought allotment of a common symbol for the ensuing polls.

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