Chennai: The Madras high court has declined to stay the operation of the GO dated November 6, 2019, appointing P.V.Geetha, Assistant Inspector General of Registration, as Special Officer, to manage the affairs of the South Indian Artistes’ Association.
Justice K.Kalyanasundaram declined to pass any interim order and posted to November 14, further hearing of the petition filed by South Indian Artistes' Association by its president M.Nasser and SI Karthi, treasurer of the association.
When the case came up for hearing, senior counsel Om Prakash submitted that the term of the office-bearers came to an end in October 2018. As per the directions of this court, election was conducted and no counting was done. Till the new set of office bearers takes charge after the decision of the court, the present office bearers were continuing to function and manage the affairs of the association. The association has been complying with all statutory filings as required under Tamil Nadu Societ- ies Registration Act. While so, all of a sudden, the present GO was passed, he added. He said a few disgruntled members at the behest of some influential persons were trying to derail everything and do not want the democratic election process to go ahead and newly elected office bearers to take up the management of the association, he added and prayed for passing interim orders.
Vehemently opposing the same, additional advocate general P.H.Arvindh Pandian submitted that the term of the office-bearers came to an end in October 2018. They cannot continue to manage the affairs of the association. Cases were filed and this court directed conduct of election till polling. The cases were still pending. In order to manage the affairs of the association, the government appointed the Special Officer. The Special Officer has also taken charge yesterday. Therefore, he will file a detailed counter, he added.
In their petitions, Karthi submitted that on a petition filed by the association,
this court permitted it to proceed with the elections till the stage of polling and not to proceed with the counting of votes. Accordingly the election was held on June 23, 2019. The ballot boxes after the concluding the election was kept in safe custody under the supervision of the election officer. The counting has not been done awaiting the order of this court. When the matter was sub-judice and was likely to reach a finality as to the election conducted, the state government issu- ed a show cause notice calling upon the association to show cause within 30 days as why action to supersede the committee of the association should not be proceeded with under section 34-A of the TN Societies Registration Act. The association gave its reply. Having accepted the reply, the state government still proceeded to pass the order, thereby appointing the special officer to the association, he added.
He said a perusal of the GO, it could be seen that there was absolute non-application of mind on the part of the authorities. In none of the decision making process allege- dly followed by the authorities, it was made out that the association was in violation of any of the statutory provisions of the relevant laws requiring such an action by the government, he added....