O Panneerselvam
O Panneerselvam

New judge to hear OPS’s appeal against GC meet

Chief Justice Bhandari took the decision after Justice Krishnan Ramasamy, who heard the case earlier, directed the registry to place the case materials before the CJ to pick the judge for hearing the matter afresh.

CHENNAI: Madras High Court Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari on Friday nominated Justice G Jayachandran to hear O Panneerselvam’s appeal in connection with the July 11 general council meeting of AIADMK.

Chief Justice Bhandari took the decision after Justice Krishnan Ramasamy, who heard the case earlier, directed the registry to place the case materials before the CJ to pick the judge for hearing the matter afresh.

“This court feels that it would be appropriate to place these matters before the Chief Justice for consideration,” said Justice Krishnan Ramasamy, who had made strong remarks against OPS on Thursday for requesting the Chief Justice to change the judge. When Justice Ramasamy took up the matter on Friday, senior counsel Arvind Pandian submitted that OPS would express apology.

When the judge asked OPS to withdraw the representation seeking the change, the counsel submitted an affidavit informing that they have done so. He also informed the judge that his client did not make any critical comments in his representation. Justice Ramasamy then noted that had the petitioner made a submission before him, he would have recused himself from the case.

Already heard OPS plea twice: Justice Ramasamy

While directing the Madras High Court registry to place the case materials before Chief Justice MN Bhandari to decide on picking the judge to hear former chief Minister O Panneerselvam’s appeal against his earlier order, Justice Krishnan Ramasamy noted that he had already heard the matter twice and expressed the court’s opinion. “Considering the submissions made by the senior counsel for the applicants/ plaintiffs and as this court already heard the matter twice and expressed its opinion and passed the orders and also since the request only now made, this court feels that it would be appropriate to place these matters before the Chief Justice for consideration,” Justice Krishnan Ramasamy said.

On Thursday, Justice Ramasamy had lashed out at Panneerselvam for making representation to the Chief Justice and the registry to change the case from his bench. Terming it “a cheap practice”, he said it was a fit case to initiate contempt proceedings. “You cannot scandalise the judiciary and undermine its authority,” the judge had noted.

These observations prompted OPS to mention before the Chief Justice once again with a request to transfer the case to some other judge.

The appeal was filed after Justice Ramasamy declined OPS’s plea to stall the general council meeting of the AIADMK on July 11. The judge had also made critical observations against OPS. On hearing OPS’s appeal, the Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana had directed the High Court to hear and dispose of the case within two weeks.

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