In a setback to AIADMK interim General Secretary Edappady K Palaniswami (EPS), the Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered maintaining the status-quo as was the case on June 23 in the matter relating to the conduct of the July 11 General Council meeting of the main opposition party in Tamil Nadu.

The general council, AIADMK's highest decision-making body, 'expelled' rival leader O Panneerselvam and some of his associates from the party amid his leadership tussle with Palaniswami, who was picked as the interim general secretary of the party by the GC members.

The order passed by Justice G Jayachandran on Wednesday, in effect held invalid the July 11 GC meeting. The judge held that the co-ordinator and the joint co-ordinator alone shall convene the GC meeting. He also suggested nomination of an observer to conduct the meeting.

The court was passing orders on the civil suits from O Panneerselvam and GC member Vairamuthu, today. Later, the counsel appearing for Panneerselvam said the court has said the Coordinator and Joint Coordinator posts, held by OPS and Palaniswami, respectively earlier, "had not lapsed".

The June 23 GC meet, convened jointly by the two leaders earlier, had announced that the one and only demand of the GC members is to bring in a system of a single leadership for the party, favouring Palaniswami. On Wednesday, Pannneerselvam supporters celebrated the HC order by bursting crackers.

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