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  India   Politics  17 Dec 2016  Sasikala versus Sasikala: Twist in AIADMK saga

Sasikala versus Sasikala: Twist in AIADMK saga

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Dec 17, 2016, 1:46 am IST
Updated : Dec 17, 2016, 5:49 am IST

To contest the election for the post of general-secretary, one must have been a primary member of the party continuously for five years.

Sasikala Pushpa (Photo: PTI)
 Sasikala Pushpa (Photo: PTI)

Chennai: Rajya Sabha MP, Sasikala Pushpa, who has been expelled from the AIADMK party, has approached the Madras high court to restrain the party from unlawfully and arbitrarily appointing Sasikala Natarajan, a close aide of former chief minister late J. Jayalalithaa, as general -secretary of the party.

Justice K. Kalyanasundaram, before whom the suit filed by Sasikala Pushpa and her husband came up for hearing, ordered notice to the AIADMK party and Sasikala Natarajan and posted to December 21 further hearing of the case.

In their suit, they also sought to restrain the AIADMK party in acting contrary to the Society Registration Act by amending the rules and regulations unlawfully for the purpose of enabling Sasikala Natarajan to be appointed as general-secretary.

Senior counsel K.M. Vijayan, appearing for Sasikala Pushpa, submitted that she has moved the suit since there was a proposal to elect Sasikala Natarajan as the general-secretary of the AIADMK party by bypassing the rules and procedures. The bylaw of the party mandates that only a general body can elect the general-secretary. But, attempts were being made to conduct the election by convening a meeting of a smaller group of members.

To contest the election for the post of general-secretary, one must have been a primary member of the party continuously for five years. But, Ms Sasikala, who was inducted as a primary member in March 2012, has completed only four and a half years. Though this rule could be amended by passing a resolution, the mandate that only a general body can elect the general-secretary cannot be amended as there was a bar in the bylaw to make such modification.

Therefore, till a proper methodology was followed, election to the post of General Secretary should not be allowed and the status quo should be maintained, he added.
 
Contending that the suit was not at all maintainable, senior counsel B. Kumar, appearing for the AIADMK party, submitted that Sasikala Pushpa has been expelled from the party on August 1, 2016 and thus she does not have locus standi to file this suit against AIADMK. Her husband’s claim that he was a primary member of the party has to be verified. Rule 5 of the Party’s bylaw prohibits a member from approaching the court assailing the party’s decision. When a member approaches the court, his/her membership automatically gets terminated and hence by his act of filing this suit, he has lost his membership and consequently losing his locus standi.
 
The AIADMK party was registered under the Representation of People act as a political party and not under the Societies Act as a society. Therefore, the provisions of the Societies Act would not apply to the party. Status quo, if granted, would affect the interest of 1.5 crore members of the party, he added.
 
In his reply, Vijayan submitted that though it was claimed that Sasikala Pushpa has been expelled from the party, so far no communication has been sent to her about the expulsion. Even the Rajya Sabha secretary has not been informed of such a decision. Till now, she was attending the Rajya Sabha representing AIADMK. As far as her husband was concerned, it was his constitutional right to approach a court of law. Such a right cannot be curtailed by a bylaw. AIADMK as an association has to be registered under Societies Act. Even though it was not registered under the Act, all the provisions of the Act would apply to the party, he added.

Tags: sasikala natarajan, j jayalalithaa, sasikala pushpa
Location: India, Tamil Nadu, Chennai (Madras)