CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has reserved orders on pleas filed by AIADMK interim-general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami and his former deputy in the government O Panneerselvam challenging the decision of the Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) to lock and seal the AIADMK headquarters citing violence erupted between the EPS and OPS supporters on July 11.
After hearing arguments of the Police, EPS, and OPS, Justice N Sathish Kumar on Friday observed that there will be no more submissions on this case and reserved orders. However, Additional Public Prosecutor (APP) Raj Thilak filed a counter affidavit regarding the violence that existed on July 11. The APP had also submitted an album showing the violence and stone pelting scene. The judge also had a glimpse of a 20-minute-long CCTV footage submitted by the police.
Recording these submissions by the APP, the judge questioned why the police did not interfere when OPS and his supporters entered the party office. Justice Sathish Kumar also asked the police why they did not file the full video.
The APP replied that about 300 policemen were deployed on the spot and due to that, no casualty occurred on the spot. “Since the violence started, police went to prevent that. Therefore, the police did not shoot the video as it was done by the media. It is noted that only two people are under admission due to the violence. Police have arrested and remanded 15 men involved in the violence,” the APP submitted.
Meanwhile, senior advocate A Ramesh submitted that the RDO had invoked sections 145 and 146 of CrPC without application of mind. The senior lawyer further referred to several judgments of the Supreme Court ruling that the RDO cannot invoke Section 145 and 146 when there is a dispute between brothers and father and son on different properties.
However, senior counsel S Vijay Narayan informed the HC that the petitioner could not point out a case of blood relation since this is a matter about the political party governed by its own bye-laws. “Our client is admittedly the headquarters secretary and he is the guardian of the office. Therefore, RDO cannot attach the headquarters,” the senior lawyer noted.
However, APP objected to his contention that if the orders of RDO are revoked, violence should occur again as both EPS and OPS are claiming rights over the party. “They have not filed any civil suits before any court to take possession of the party. If we revoke Sections 145 and 146, again the factions of EPS and OPS would gather there,” he added.
OPS’s advocate submitted that it is an appealable order and they could resolve the differences in a manner known to the law. OPS's advocate also sought permission for submitting a counter against the counter affidavit of police. Recording the submissions, the judge directed OPS to file his counter but held that there will be no more arguments. The court reserved orders and adjourned the matter.