Assembly ruckus case: Crucial days for Kerala minister as govt moves SC

Insight Online News

Thiruvananthapuram, June 26 : Crucial days are ahead for Kerala Education Minister V. Sivankutty, as the Kerala Government has approached the Supreme Court seeking a reversal of the High Court decision which dismissed a plea for withdrawal of a case registered against six Left legislators in 2015 for indulging in vandalism in the assembly.

The petition has been listed in the apex court for Tuesday and if the court upholds the High Court’s ruling that all the then six legislators should face trial, then Sivankutty could be in trouble, and could well see his position as a State Minister untenable.

The High Court in September last year dismissed their plea and upheld the Chief Judicial magistrate court’s order, which asked all the accused to face trial.

The list of accused includes former State Ministers — E.P. Jayarajan, K.T. Jaleel and then four legislators who were identified of causing damage to properties inside the floor of the assembly on March 13, 2015.

The others include K. Kunju Ahamed, C.K. Sadasivan and K. Ajith, who are now not legislators and so is Jayarajan, while Jaleel is a legislator now.

It was following Sivankutty’s letter to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan seeking the case should be withdrawn, the government decided to do the same, even though a Crime Branch police probe had found out there were lot of wrongs committed by the then opposition, which presently rules the government.

Following this move by the Vijayan government, then Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala impleaded in the petition stating that the case should not be withdrawn as public property was destroyed by responsible people.

The vandalism took place on March 13, 2015 when erstwhile State Finance Minister K.M. Mani was presenting the state budget for the new fiscal.

The then CPI-M-led opposition had taken a strong stand that Mani, who was accused of taking a bribe of Rs one crore from a bar owner for reopening closed down bars, would not be allowed to present the budget.

When Mani began his speech, the Left legislators went berserk, throwing out the Speaker’s chair from the dais and also damaging the electronic equipment on his table.

After the incident, the then Speaker N. Sakthan asked for a Crime Branch police probe.

The twist in the tale is that since 2020, the late K.M. Mani’s party — Kerala Congress (M), now led by his son Jose K. Mani moved out from the Congress led UDF and is presently the third biggest ally of the Vijayan government and has been given a cabinet berth.

IANS / AGENCY

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