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Supreme Court To Hear On July 5 Pleas Seeking Withdrawal Of Cases Over 2015 Assembly Ruckus

Srishti Ojha
29 Jun 2021 9:14 AM GMT
Supreme Court To Hear On July 5 Pleas Seeking Withdrawal Of Cases Over 2015 Assembly Ruckus
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The Supreme Court on Tuesday decided to hear next Monday, July 5, State of Kerala's plea seeking the withdrawal of criminal cases against six prominent CPI(M) members for the ruckus and vandalism caused in the Kerala Legislative Assembly in 2015. After the Kerala Government approached the Supreme Court, the six accused members also filed petitions in the Supreme Court seeking withdrawal...

The Supreme Court on Tuesday decided to hear next Monday, July 5, State of Kerala's plea seeking the withdrawal of criminal cases against six prominent CPI(M) members for the ruckus and vandalism caused in the Kerala Legislative Assembly in 2015.

After the Kerala Government approached the Supreme Court, the six accused members also filed petitions in the Supreme Court seeking withdrawal of cases.

A three-Judge Bench of Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Subhash Reddy and Justice Ravindra Bhat will hear the State's plea along with another pleas filed by the accused in the matter.

"The SLP filed by the accused arises out of the impugned order of the High Court as well. List that SLP together with the present Special Leave Petition Next Monday" the Bench noted

During the hearing, Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta informed that the SLP filed by the accused persons has only be numbered today and is therefore not before the Court.

While informing the Court that only the State's SLP is listed before the Court today, Mr Gupta requested the Court that the two pleas be taken up together some day.

The Bench then inquired about the Diary number of the SLP referred to by Mr Gupta and directed that both the special leave petitions be listed together.

The present SLP has been filed against the March 12 judgment of a single bench of the Kerala High Court which had dismissed the state's revision petition against the refusal of Chief Judicial Magistrate,Thiruvananthapuram, to allow the withdrawal of prosecution in these cases under Section 321 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

In the plea before the Top Court, the Kerala Government say that the acts happened during a protest staged against the presentation of budget by the then Finance Minister KM Mani, who was facing allegations of involvement in bar-bribery scam.

It is argued that the High Court failed to appreciate that the alleged acts took place while the assembly was in session, and hence no FIR could have been lodged without the sanction of the Speaker. The FIR was registered by the Secretary of the Legislative Assembly without the consent of the Speaker, it is stated.

Entitled to protection of legislative privileges

The petition raises the argument that the accused persons, who were then MLAs, are entitled to the protection of legislative privileges for their acts committed at the floor of the house.

"Articles 105(3) and 194(3) of the Constitution of India confer certain privileges and immunities to the members of the Parliament and State Legislature. The act of the accused being in relation to their function as members of the Legislative Assembly, no criminal proceedings can be initiated", the plea states.

It is argued that the High Court failed to see that the withdrawal applications were filed by the Public Prosecutor in good faith and public interest. There is no justification on the presumption that the petition was filed without good faith and on extraneous influence.

Six members of CPI(M) were booked under the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act for the vandalism in the house. Out of the accused, V Sivankutty is now the Education Minister in the present second term of the LDF government. EP Jayarajan and KT Jaleel, who were ministers in the previous LDF government, CPIM members CK Sahadevan, K Ajith and K Kunhammed are the other accused.


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