Thiruvananthapuram; An appeal has been registered before the Kerala High Court to name as ‘illegal’ the swearing-in function of the latest LDF government headed by Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday as 500 people are foreseen to chaperon the event, ‘violating the Covid protocol announced by the government. A Division Bench led by Chief Justice S Manikumar will analyze the case on Wednesday.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told journalists on Monday that 500 people are anticipated to attend the swearing-in ceremony at the Chandrasekharan Nair Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram. The request, by Dr. K J Prince, general secretary of Thrissur-based Chikitsaneethi, an organization for defending the health of citizens, asked that the HC announces the execution of the ceremony with the participation of a large number of people as unlawful and in infringement of the COVID protocol declared by the government.
The petition registered through advocate Arul Muralidharan and Vineetha Vijayan asserted that the function is going to be conducted between a situation where the disaster management authority had declared ‘triple lockdown’ in four districts in Kerala including Thiruvananthapuram.“The condition in Kerala is very bad. One of the reasons for the spread of COVID-19 was the uncontrolled gatherings during the assembly election. Even though the State Election Commission had issued guidelines for conducting meetings of not more than 100 persons following the Covid protocol, political leaders including Pinarayi Vijayan had conducted public meetings in which thousands of people participated without complying with the conditions or guidelines issued by the Election Commission and Disaster Management Authority,” the petition said.
According to the petitioner, the swearing-in ceremony is only a legal manner of taking charge as MLA. “There is no legal duty to conduct the same with relatives and party. The person taking the oath and the person who is officially entrusted to give the oath are only needed to be present,” the petition said. The petitioner also filed an appeal before the government suing it to administer the oath-taking ceremony evading mobs stringently following the guidelines declared by the Kerala Disaster Management Authority.
The ceremony can also be seen by live telecast without anyone partaking except MLAs. The petitioner also asked legal claim against those conducting the meeting and those participating in the meeting. Also, there should be a mandate to the state to attend the ceremony only with the MLAs and the oath-giving person.