Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 21 September 2021 10.54 AM IST

Ramesh Chennithala files objection petition in SC against govt's move to withdraw Assembly brawl case


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala has filed an objection petition in the Supreme Court to stop the government's move to withdraw the Assembly brawl case. The petition has been filed in the Supreme Court following a legal battle in the Thiruvananthapuram Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court and the Kerala High Court. Chennithala said it was the biggest embarrassment in the history of the Kerala Legislative Assembly that the then Opposition MLAs had disrupted the 2015 budget presented by Finance Minister KM Mani.

A chargesheet was filed against six then MLAs, including Minister V Sivankutty and KT Jalil MLA, for destroying public property. On March 13, 2015, the Legislative Assembly witnessed that the members responsible for the legislation were becoming lawbreakers. The speaker's podium, computer, mic and furniture were smashed. Public property worth Rs 2.20 lakh was destroyed. The Supreme Court has previously ruled that members of the legislature do not receive the same legal protection they get in Assembly for voting or speech when they indulge in criminal activities.

Visuals have been produced in court, including video footage of MLA destroying public property. The lower court and the high court rejected the demand for the case to be withdrawn. The move is against the government's action to withdraw the case without trial and acquit the accused. The country will face serious repercussions if the need for legal protection is accepted in a case that is a stain in Parliament's history. Chennithala also questioned whether this protection could be provided if members of the legislature openly fought and hack each other.

The argument that legal proceedings require the Speaker's permission for criminal offenses involving members of the Legislature is also dangerous. If that happens, will it be possible to arrest the MLAs involved in any heinous crime as long as the Speaker does not approve it? The public prosecutor, who was authorized to file the petition to withdraw the case, had refused to approach the High Court against the verdict dismissing the petition. In this case, the High Court questioned the verdict. What power does the government have to approach the Supreme Court? The trial in this case should begin immediately. Otherwise, I would take legal action if the government went ahead with the demand that the case be withdrawn, Chennithala said.

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