Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 17 September 2021 5.51 AM IST

Kerala Assembly ruckus: SC to pronounce verdict on govt's plea on Wednesday


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court is scheduled to pronounce its verdict on Wednesday on pleas, including the one filed by Kerala government against the high court order dismissing its petition seeking withdrawal of a criminal case lodged in connection with ruckus inside the state Assembly in 2015.
The state assembly had witnessed unprecedented scenes on March 13, 2015 as LDF members, then in opposition, tried to prevent then finance minister K M Mani, who was facing allegations in the bar bribery scam, from presenting the state budget.

Besides flinging the speaker's chair from the podium, electronic equipment like computers, keyboards and mikes on the desk of the presiding officer were also allegedly damaged by the LDF members.

A bench of justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah had on July 15 reserved its verdict on the pleas.

The counsel appearing for the state government had argued that the incident happened in 2015 when there were allegations of corruption against the state government and the finance minister was about to table the budget in the House.

The counsel had said the FIR lodged by the secretary of Legislative Assembly secretary did not have any constitutional backing as the Speaker had not given any sanction and to give quietus to the matter, the present government has moved an application for withdrawal of the prosecution.

He had argued that act of the members of the House was covered under Legislative Privileges and the authority to take action against them vests with the Speaker of the House and not the Legislative Secretary.

The lawyer representing some of the accused had said there is new government in place now and if the public prosecutor feels that it was a political issue, then it can be a ground for withdrawal.

The top court had on July 5 said it has to take a “strict” view of unruly behaviour of lawmakers in Parliament and Legislative Assemblies as such incidents are "increasing now-a-days" and this sort of conduct cannot be condoned.

The case, which also involves V Sivankutty who is a minister in the state, was registered against a group of then LDF MLAs.

In its plea filed in the apex court against the March 12 order of the high court, the Kerala government has claimed that the high court had failed to appreciate that the alleged incident had occurred while the Assembly was in session and no crime could have been registered "without previous sanction" of the Speaker.

The state government had moved the high court against an order of the trial court which had dismissed an application filed by the public prosecutor seeking permission to withdraw from prosecution against the accused in the case.

The case was registered for the alleged offences under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 447 (criminal trespass), and under the provision of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.

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