The Madras High Court on Wednesday quashed orders passed by South Chennai Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) on July 11 locking and sealing the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) headquarters in Chennai due to violence between party cadres.

Justice N Sathish Kumar, in his capacity as Executive Magistrate, ordered the office keys should be handed over to the party’s interim General Secretary, Edappadi K. Palaniswami, which is a big blow to the rival camp headed by Paneerselvam, who was one of the respondents.

Both Palaniswami and the expelled leader, O Paneerselvam filed individual petitions challenging RDO’s proceedings.

The Judge directed the police to ensure proper ‘bandobust’ and protection to the building round-the-clock. Considering the overall situation, the Court directed the party not to permit any cadres or supporters to the building for a period of one month from today.

The AIADMK headquarters was sealed on July 11 following violence and vandalism between supporters of both Palaniswami and Panneerselvam in and around the party office. Panneerselvam and his supporters were expelled from the party by the General Council, after elevation of EPS as an interim General Secretary.

The 'B' Party (headed by Paneerselvam) having attempted to stall the General Council Meeting, created a war-like situation as a last resort to bring the proceedings under Section 145 Cr.P.C. to have a claim over the property. When a member of an association or party against whom a majority has already taken a decision, without such a decision being challenged or nullified, the decision of the majority will prevail over, the order said.

Any person said to have been expelled from primary membership cannot claim an absolute right to treat it as a dispute with regard to the property of the political party, which does not belonged to any of the individuals, creating a war-like situation by breaking open the door of the building, which was kept under lock and key by the other side. Such act is nothing but mere trespass, the order added.