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Kerala HC Directs Chief Secretary To Consider BJP State President's Representation Against Govt Employees' Participation In CPI (M)'s Raj Bhavan March

Athira Prasad
15 Nov 2022 7:06 AM GMT
Kerala HC Directs Chief Secretary To Consider BJP State Presidents Representation Against Govt Employees Participation In CPI (M)s Raj Bhavan March

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed the Chief Secretary to consider the representation filed by the BJP State Unit President K. Surendran against participation of government employees in CPI(M)'s demonstration outside Governor Arif Mohammad Khan's official residence.

The Division Bench consisting of Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly, while disposing of the petition seeking to prevent the government from participating in the protest, refused to pass any direction. However, it directed the Chief Secretary to consider the letter submitted by the BJP State Unit President K. Surendran.

Giving due consideration to the material on record and the principles of law summarised above, we are of the view that the petitioner has not made out a case for issuance of any declaration as prayed for.

The Court after going through the material on record observed that it failed to find any material to support the contentions raised in the Statement of facts. Furthermore pointed out that there is no proof of acknowledgement of the letter stated to have been submitted before the 1st respondent.

However, when posed with a question as to whether there is any objection for the State of Kerala, to consider the letter, the State Attorney submitted that the procession had already commenced. The Court thereby directed the Chief Secretary to consider the letter submitted by the petitioner expeditiously as possible.

respondent No.1 is directed to consider Exhibit P1 letter dated 14.11.2022, if acknowledged, and pending on his files, as expeditiously as possible, having regard to the fact that the march is scheduled on 15.11.2022.

In the petition moved through Advocate Vishnu Pradeep, it was alleged that "the ruling party and its allied parties" are engaged in a mass campaign to ensure maximum participation in the protest, and strict directions have been given to their affiliated service organisations to ensure that all its members mandatorily participate in the protest march and dharna.

The petitioner alleged that government servants have been assured that they will be marked present on duty if they participate in the protest and are being compelled to join the march called by the Left Democratic Front. The government is "clandestinely extending all sorts of assistance" to organise the protest march, according to the petitioner.

When the matter was taken up, the Court enquired whether there was any evidence that the government employees were being forced to participate in the protest. The counsel representing the petitioner was unable to produce any evidence to support his allegation.

The BJP leader in the plea alleged that in the backdrop of the straining relationship between the Governor and the state government, the ruling front has decided to organise the protest in front of Raj Bhavan on November 15 to pressurise Khan to accede to the proposals of the government.

Citing Kerala High Court's decision in Balagopalan G v. State of Kerala and others and Chandara Choodan Nair v. State of Kerala and others, the petitioner has contended that it has been categorically held that no right is conferred upon the Government Servants to go on strike. "Further, it is the duty of the welfare government to protect the interest of its citizens, and should not attempt to slow down government work".

Case Title: K. Surendran v. State of Kerala

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Ker) 602

Click Here To Read/Download The Order

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