Madras HC reserves verdict on appeal by Panneerselvam against interim order restraining him from using AIADMK symbol, flag and letterhead

Read Time: 06 minutes


The interim order was passed on November 7 by a single judge bench in an application filed by AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami

The Madras High Court on Thursday heard the arguments on the maintainability of the appeal against the order passed by a single judge bench on November 7 granting an interim injunction against expelled AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam (OPS), prohibiting him from using the party's official symbol, flag, or letterhead until November 30.

The bench of Justices R Mahadevan & Mohammed Shaffiq reserved the order after hearing at length both the parties. 

The arguments put forth by the counsel for AIADMK general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) were that instead of filing a counter affidavit to the suit filed by him, as ordered by the court, OPS moved an appeal, which in itself was not maintainable.

The only remedy OPS has is to file a counter affidavit to the suit and seek a stay on the interim order. No appeal can be moved against such an interim order, contended the counsel for EPS. 

On the other hand, OPS's counsel argued that the single-judge bench order was in contravention of the law. He claimed that the single judge bench had not provided him an opportunity to be heard and the order was passed without application of judicial mind.

The interim order

In a civil suit filed by the party’s general secretary, Edappadi K. Palaniswami, the Madras High Court last week granted interim injunction against expelled leader OPS.

During the court proceedings, OPS's counsel had informed the court about their appeal to the Supreme Court regarding the Madras High Court's decision that validated OPS's expulsion from the AIADMK. Since this appeal was awaiting a case number, they had requested an adjournment.

However, following this submission, Justice N Sathish Kumar had issued an interim injunction against OPS, preventing him from using AIADMK symbols, flags, and letterheads.

"The order of the Division Bench approving the Resolution has not been stayed. Such being the current state of affairs and that when the respondent/defendant at this stage is not a Member of the Party as per the Resolution and has not chosen to file counter and hence, he is restrained by way of interim order as sought in these applications till 30.11.2023", the single judge bench had ordered. 

The Suit by EPS

Leader of the Opposition and AIADMK figurehead, Edappadi K Palaniswami, has approached the Madras High Court seeking a permanent injunction against OPS, preventing him from using the AIADMK's symbols, flags, and official letterhead.

Palaniswami pointed out that the Election Commission had recognized their faction under clause 15 of the Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotments) Order of 1968.

Furthermore, he argued that the court had already confirmed OPS's expulsion from the party, thus rendering his use of the party's name, symbols, flags, or letterhead illegitimate.