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Madras HC dismisses Sasikala’s plea challenging her removal as interim GS of AIADMK

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Chennai: The Madras High Court has dismissed a plea filed by Ms V.K. Sasikala, a close aide of late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, challenging her removal as interim General Secretary of the AIADMK.

After Ms Jayalalithaa’s death on December five 2016 after 75 days of hospitalisation, Ms Sasikala was elected as interim General Secretary of the party and she assumed the post on the 2017 New year eve, before the power tussle surfaced and the AIADMK split into two factions with the one headed by Edappadi K.Palaniswami after he was made Chief Minister replacing O.Panneerselvam, leading to a revolt against her in February 2017.

After Ms Sasikala was elected as interim General Secretary, Mr Palaniswami was made Chief Minister following the split after Mr Panneerselvam alleged that he was coerced to resign from the leading to the revolt.

However, a week after Mr Palaniswami was made Chief Minister, Ms Sasikala was convicted in a corruption case and sent to four years jail term.

In the meanwhile, both the warring AIADMK factions had buried their hatchet and merged with the Palaniswami camp agreeing to Mr Panneerselvam’s key demand for merger that Ms Sasikala should be removed from the party post.

Subsequenty, the AIADMK General Council met in September 2017, removed her from the post of Interim General Secretary and also expelled her from the party, that resulted in dual leadership in the party post merger.

Challenging her removal from the party post, Ms Sasikala filed a petition in the High Court,which was dismissed and she filed a review pettition to declare that she continues to be the AIADMK’s interim general secretary ever since her appointment to the post on December 29, 2016.which was also dismissed by a Division Bench on Tuesday.

A Division Bench of Justices R. Subramanian and N. Senthilkumar dismissed three appeal suits as well as a civil revision petition filed by her last year urging the High Court to set aside the orders passed by an Additional City Civil Court in Chennai, which had on April 11, 2022 rejected her plaint seeking such a declaration.

“These appeals and the revision symbolise the power tussle in one of the major political parties in Tamil Nadu. The AIADMK was founded by Dr. M.G. Ramachandran, a star of yesteryears, in 1972,” began the verdict penned by the senior judge in the Division Bench. The verdict went on to list various developments that took place in the party since its inception and pointed out that there was a rift in the party pursuant to the resignation of O. Panneerselvam (currently expelled from the party) from the post of Chief Minister on February 7, 2017.

In her appeal plea, Ms. Sasikala contended that the convening of the September 12, 2017 general council was illegal as it was not in accordance with party by-laws.

However, the Bench led by Justice Subramanian concurred with Senior Counsel Vijay Narayan, representing the AIADMK, and P.H. Arvind Pandian, representing Mr. Panneerselvam, that most of the prayers sought by Ms. Sasikala in her 2017 suit had become redundant/infructuous due to passage of time.

“It may be open to the second plaintiff (Ms. Sasikala) to file a suit afresh, but that cannot be a consideration for deciding whether this plaint should remain on the file or not. We will have to necessarily conclude that the suit, as it stands today, cannot be retained on the file,” the Bench concluded.

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