Chennai: The Delhi High Court on Friday granted interim relief to AMMK chief TTV Dhinakaran by staying the proceedings against him in Patiala House Court in connection with the ‘two leaves’ party symbol bribery case. The next date of hearing in the case is scheduled for March 20.

The alleged offences against TTV Dhinakaran are criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence. The charges have been framed for Dhinakaran’s alleged role in bribing an Election Commission official to get the two leaves symbol for the  V K Sasikala-led AIADMK faction.

On February 28, the Delhi High Court dismissed the pleas of Dhinakaran and Sasikala which challenged the Election Commission’s order to grant the AIADMK name and two leaves symbol to the faction led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami.

In 2017, a charge-sheet was filed by the Delhi Police’s crime branch claiming that the alleged middleman, Sukesh Chandrasekar, had conspired with Dhinakaran and others to bribe poll panel officials to get the two leaves symbol for Sasikala-led AIADMK faction.

A bench comprising justices G S Sistani and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal upheld the EC’s decision of November 23, 2017,  saying none of the grounds of challenge taken by Dhinakaran and Sasikala was sufficient to set aside the poll panel’s order.

After the order was pronounced, senior advocate Abhishek M Singhvi, appearing for Dhinakaran and Sasikala, urged the bench to direct the EC not to allot the party’s pressure cooker symbol to anyone during the subsequent 15 days so that they have time to move the Supreme Court and seek appropriate relief from there.

In March 2017, the Election Commission had allotted the ‘hat’ symbol to the Sasikala-Dhinakaran group after it froze the use of the ‘two leaves’ symbol to which the group led by Palaniswami and Panneerselvam had also staked a claim. The Palaniswami-Panneerselvam faction had at the same time granted the ‘electric pole’ symbol.

(With Agency inputs)