The Madras High Court in a special late-night hearing cleared hurdles for the South Indian Artistes Association, aka the Nadigar Sangam, elections. As announced earlier, the elections will be held on Sunday, June 23.
Justice PD Audikesavalu stayed the order passed by the Registrar of Societies on Wednesday, indefinitely suspending the elections. However, the court barred counting of votes and for ballot boxes to be kept in safe custody until further orders. The next hearing will be on July 8.
He had observed that the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act of 1975 does not empower the Registrar to stall the elections, especially after the notification has been issued. According to The Hindu, the Judge said, â€śIt is a trite law that an electoral process which has commenced shall not normally be interdicted till it reaches its logical conclusion and as such, it would be highly improper to cancel the election at this distance of time.â€ť
He also pointed out that the complaint from the 61 members alleging illegal termination had led the Registrar to stall the elections while such disputes could be solved only by a civil court.
On Thursday afternoon, the Madras High Court ruled that the termination of the 61 members was completely valid. The 61 members had complained that they were removed from the voters' list by Pandavar Ani to skew the election results in their favour. These members demanded to know why they were removed from the Sangam.
In the response letter to the Registrar dated June 17, Vishal has stated that of the 61, 44 members have been changed to amateur artists, 4 of them have been removed based on disciplinary action and 13 are eligible to vote in this elections.
Drama has surrounded the Nadigar Sangam elections in recent weeks. They will be held on June 23 between Nasser-Vihsalâ€™s Pandavar Ani and Bhagyaraj-Ishari Ganeshâ€™s Shankaradas Ani. The venue of the elections will be decided later. According to reports, Nadigar Sangam is planning to move the Madras High Court to hold a special hearing on Saturday to fix the venue so that the elections can be held on time.