General council can’t directly expel party member: Vaithilingam

Subsequently, AIADMK members R Vaithilingam and JCD Prabhakar also moved the Madras High Court against the party's July 11, 2022 general council resolutions on Friday.
AIADMK leader R Vaithilingam
AIADMK leader R Vaithilingam

CHENNAI: The AIADMK general council can only suspend a party member and not directly expel them from primary membership without issuing a charge memo and an opportunity to explain their stand, argued ousted members R Vaithilingam and JCD Prabhakar before the Madras High Court on Friday.

AIADMK interim General Secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami on Thursday filed a counter affidavit in the case filed by MLA PH Manoj Pandian in Madras High Court against the AIADMK's July 11, 2022 general council resolutions that paved the way for the election of EPS as the party's interim general secretary and expulsion of O Panneerselvam and his supporters.

Subsequently, AIADMK members R Vaithilingam and JCD Prabhakar also moved the Madras High Court against the party's July 11, 2022 general council resolutions on Friday.

When the petitions came up for the hearing before Justice K Kumaresh Babu, senior counsel PS Raman who appeared for R Vaithilingam and JCD Prabhakar argued that the bylaws of the party do not empower the general council to expel any member without notice and hence the resolutions passed at the AIADMK's July 11, 2022 general council meet were without any legal backing.

"How can they be expelled without even giving an opportunity of hearing? They have thrown the bylaws to the winds. I have come here only to assert my civil right. The party's bylaws regarding disciplinary proceedings categorically state that a charge sheet must be issued but we came to know about our expulsion only through a press release," senior counsel PS Raman argued.

On the other hand, senior advocate Abdul Saleem appeared for PH Manoj Pandian argued that Edappadi K Palaniswami had written to the Election Commission of India stating that he no longer held the post of joint coordinator and since the commission had so far not recognised him as the interim general secretary.

Also he pointed out that as on date, he (EPS) neither holds the post of coordinator nor that of interim general secretary.

Counsel Abdul Saleem also insisted on an interim order since the Legislative Assembly might convene anytime and the plaintiffs wanted to participate in it as AIADMK members. After hearing all the arguments, Justice Kumaresh Babu adjourned the hearing of all three cases to April 11.

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