The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed a Madras High Court order that prevents the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam from passing new resolutions in its general council meetings, reported Live Law.

A vacation bench of Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Krishna Murari passed the interim order on the petition filed by AIADMK coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami against the June 23 order of the High Court.

The Madras High Court had said that no new resolution on change in AIADMK’s top leadership can be taken during the party’s general council meeting on June 23. The High Court had, however, allowed the meeting to take place and pass 23 already-approved resolutions.

The decision of both the courts came amid a power tussle in the AIADMK between Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam, who is the coordinator of the party.

The faction led by Palaniswami wants the party to get rid of the dual leadership. However, the Panneerselvam-led camp has opposed the idea.

At the June 23 party meeting, AIADMK members raised slogans demanding “single leadership” within the party under Palaniswami.

On Wednesday, the vacation bench said that courts cannot interfere with the inner functioning of a political party.

“The [High Court’s] direction amounts to the court telling the party how it should function?” the bench asked. “Can such an order be passed even at the final decree stage, let alone the interim stage?”

It clarified that the scheduled general council meetings can take place in accordance with the law. Given the Supreme Court’s order, there will be no restraint on passing resolutions in the meeting scheduled for July 11.

Senior Advocate CS Vaidyanathan, appearing for Palaniswami, told the court that contempt petitions have been filed against the party meeting held on June 23.

“The attempt [contempt petition] is to stop the internal democracy of the party by a person who does not have the support of majority members,” Vaidyanathan said.

The bench then said that if contempt proceedings have been initiated, it would have to examine the legality of the High Court order.

The contempt petition filed by AIADMK general council member M Shanmugam has sought action against party leaders, Palaniswami, Tamilmagan Hussain, CV Shanmugam, KP Munusamy, D Jayakumar and Dindigul Sreenivasan for electing Hussain as the permanent presidium chairperson and also for announcing the date of the next council meeting, reported The New Indian Express.

M Shanmugam has argued that these decisions were a “deliberate and flagrant” violation of the June 23 Madras High Court order. He also sought to stay the next general council meeting.