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High Court stays election to South Indian Artists Association

Madras High Court

Chennai: Madras High Court today stayed the July 15 election to the South Indian Artists Association, an apex body of actors, holding that the poll notification was not issued in accordance with its bye laws.

“There is nothing placed on record before this court to show that the decision to conduct the election was taken by the Administrative Committee as contemplated under the bye laws”, Justice K Ravichandra Baabu said.

He was passing interim orders on petitions filed by actors Vishal, Naseer and Karthi to declare as null and void the election notification issued by the SIAA on June 5.

The petitioners found fault with the manner in which the election was declared by SIAA General Secretary Radha Ravi and President Sarathkumar, whom they alleged wanted to remain asĀ  office bearers for their life time.

“From the proceedings/resolution of the Executive Committee meeting held on June 1 it is seen that only the President has taken such a decision unilaterally and sought for approval of the Executive Committee and in any event, not from the Administrative Committee”, the judge observed.

At this juncture, it is to be noted that a decision taken by “an incompetent authority” cannot be ratified later, as such action of taking a decision, is void, illegal and without jurisdiction”, the judge said.

He also said there was clinching evidence through documents that the venue of elections had been booked much before the decision was taken to issue notification.

Therefore, it was evident that even before issuing the impugned election notification, the date and venue were fixed in the absence of any decision by the Administrative Committee, the judge said.

Observing that normally, when once the election process is commenced, it will not be stalled by courts unless there was a compelling circumstance warranting to do so, the judge said, “In this case, this Court has prima-facie found that the very issuance of the election notification is without jurisdiction.”

Observing that the disposal of main civil suits cannot be delayed in view of the stay on election, the judge directed the parties to file their written statements in two weeks, thereafter rejoinder in two weeks and list it for final disposal.

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