Thiruvananthapuram: The ruling party in Kerala, LDF, faces another setback in the assembly ruckus case 2015, as a court dismissed the discharge petitions filed by General Education Minister V Sivankutty and five other accused in the case, on Wednesday. Dismissing the petitions, the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) also directed the minister and five other accused to appear before them on November 22 to frame charges.
Besides Sivankutty, the other accused people include E P Jayarajan, K T Jaleel, K Ajith, C K Sadasivan and K Kunhammed, who were opposition MLAs at the time. Earlier, the trial court in September last year had rejected the LDF government’s plea for withdrawing a case related to the ruckus in the state assembly, stating that allowing it would send a wrong message to society. Subsequently on this July, the Supreme Court dismissed the petition by government, for withdrawal of the case against the six LDF leaders, pointing out that privileges and immunities ‘are not gateways’ to claim exemptions from criminal law which governs the action of every citizen.
The petition filed by the government sought the withdrawal of the case registered under sections 447 (criminal trespass), 427 (mischief causing damage), read with section 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Sec 3(1) of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property (PDPP) Act by the previous Oommen Chandy-led UDF government.
Reacting to the order, Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly V D Satheesan said Sivankutty has lost moral right to continue as minister, and demanded resignation. The Congress Chief also said that the court rejected their petitions considering the visuals of Sivankutty and others destroying public property by climbing on the desk in the Assembly.
The incident happened in March 2015, while the CPI(M) members were protesting against the then UDF government, and against the then Finance Minister KM Mani, who was trying to present the budget speech, over the bar bribery allegations against him.