Madras High Court: In a petition filed by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (‘AIADMK party’) praying to pass an Interim order, directing the respondent Bank to handover the lawful possession of the 13kg gold armour to AIADMK party till 01.11.2022, that is lying in the locker of the respondent bank bearing joint account of AIADMK party and the Pasumpon Thevar Ninaivalaya (respondent), for the upcoming Thevar Jayanthi Celebrations, V. Bhavani Subbaroyan, J. directed the respondent bank to accept the signature of the trust for the present year and the District Register Officer (‘DRO’) of Ramnad District to sign and receive the armour from the Bank and take it to the venue of celebration, further directed both the factions of AIADMK (party A and party B) to not interfere in the above-said process of receiving, adorning and redepositing the gold armour at any cost. The Court after examination of the deed of Memorandum of Understanding (‘MoU’) between AIADMK party and the respondents, wherein it has been incorporated that during Thevar Guru Pooja, the gold armour (Kavasam) that was donated by the then Chief Minister Dr. J. Jayalalitha and General Secretary of AIADMK party to the trust under the deposit and custody of respondent Bank, and both the treasurer and the third respondent would operate the account and receive gold armour from the Bank together to be adorned during the ceremony; and observed that the AIADMK party shall co-ordinate the trust to take Kavasam from the bank and placed on the statue during ceremony to be held on 28th to 30th October for celebrating the Birth of Muthuramalinga Thevar.
The Court viewed that it may not be feasible to accept the prayer made by party A as well as the claim made by party B in the interest of law andorder, as lakhs of people will be thronging to celebrate the occasion. Further, there were claims and counter claims between AIADMK factions of O Paneerselvam and Edappadi Palanisamy, making difficult to operate the locker facility of joint account along with the Pasumpon Thevar Ninaivalaya (respondent) and receive the golden armour, thus, it directed both the parties to adhere to the directions issued by the division bench to resolve their differences, as the matter is sub judice.
However, it was viewed that the Court also has to look into the aspect of holding the customary event by celebrating the occasion and the adorning of gold armour on the deity should not be stopped merely because there is a dispute between two factions of AIADMK, and since the armour was directed to be placed on the deity coupled with an obligation in MoU that the said gold armour will be received by the treasurer of AIADMK party, and the Pasumpon Thevar Ninaivalaya who would operate the said account and redeposit the same with Bank is not possible as there is a claim and counter claim by A and B parties.
Thus, the Court issued the following directions:
directed the respondent bank to accept the signature of the trust for the present year and the District Register Officer (‘DRO’) of Ramnad District to sign and receive the armour from the Bank and take it to the venue of celebration.
It gave responsibility to the DRO to safeguard the gold armour and to redeposit the same to the respondent Bank after the ceremony.
directed party A and B to not interfere in the above-said process of receiving, adorning and redepositing the gold armour at any cost.
[All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam v. The Branch Manager Bank of India Anna Nagar Branch, WMP(MD) No. 18242 of 2022, decided on 26-10-2022]