The ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu cannot claim an exclusive right over the use of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's name, former party leader and Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam founder T T V Dhinakaran told the Madras High Court on Thursday.
The deputy general secretary of AMMK submitted before Justice K Kalyanasundaram that he cannot be restrained from using the name 'Amma' (as Jayalalithaa was popularly known) or the late leader's photograph on his party's flag.
The AIADMK filed the suit in March seeking an injunction restraining the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK), which translates to 'Amma's party for people's development', from using any colour or combinations deceptively similar to its own flag.
Also, the suit filed by AIADMK just after Dhinakaran floated his party sought Rs 25 lakh as damage and an injunction against the use of "Amma" and her picture on AMMK's party flag.
AMMK's flag features the image of a smiling Jayalalithaa at the centre, with black on top and red below while white is positioned in the middle.
AIADMK's flag is black on top and red below with Dravidian icon CN Annadurai's image forming the centre in white.
Dhinakaran, locked in a political battle with the ruling establishment which had ousted him last year, contended that there was no possibility of any confusion and no damage or irreparable hardship will be caused to AIADMK by the AMMK's use of the term "Amma" and her pictures on his party flag.
On AIADMK's point that no prejudice will be caused to him since AMMK was not a registered political party, Dhinakaran declined to toe the ruling party's line.
"The reason why AMMK has not been registered as a political party is that the issue as to which faction represents the real AIADMK is still sub-judice before the Delhi High Court and Supreme Court," he argued.
He prayed the court to dismiss the suit.
Recording the submissions, Justice Kalyanasundaram adjourned the hearing of the plea by two weeks.
AIADMK had alleged that Dhinakaran was trying to appropriate the goodwill and reputation of AIADMK not only by adopting similar colour combination as AIADMK's flag but also by using the term "Amma" in his outfit's name.
The name Amma has been in vogue for decades and it has been used by it in its promotional materials, AIADMK had said.
The ruling party had also highlighted that for many government welfare schemes the AIADMK regime had used the name Amma and hence Dhinakaran should not be allowed to use it.
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