The Kerala High Court has rejected the state government’s plea to withdraw the cases against current and former MLAs in the Assembly fiasco of 2015. The HC maintained that ministers KT Jaleel and EP Jayarajan, as well as the other accused — V Sivankutty, K Ajith, K Kunhammed, and CK Sadasivan — will face trial in the matter.
A similar plea was rejected by the Chief Judicial Magistrate in September last year, before granting bail to Jaleel and Jayarajan in October. Today, the single bench judge clarified that the state government cannot put forward such a claim, as it is the job of the public prosecutor. Moreover, the Opposition Leader strongly maintained that there have been previous judgements regarding withdrawing cases against the destruction of public property and he added that the government’s plea couldn’t stand scrutiny.
The fiasco originated in the assembly, as a “protest against the bar case allegations against the then Finance Minister KM Mani” while the latter was presenting the budget. The fiasco got out of control and the accused reportedly destroyed public property including the computers, microphones, and tables worth Rs 2.5 Lakh. The biggest accusation was when a few MLAs threw the Assembly Speaker’s chair off the dais. With the matter coming out in public again, it might feel like déjà vu for V Sivankutty whose defeat in the last Assembly election could be attributed to his actions in the Assembly.
On the other hand, this is only one of three High Court updates that have put the LDF government on the offensive. The High Court’s stay on the regularisation of employees in about ten government companies will continue despite the state’s arguments. The left government had argued that the openings were for posts created under the special rules and not handed over to the Public Service Commission.
On March 4, the HC issued an order to stop proceedings to regularise temporary employees in various Kerala organisations. The order had been issued based on a plea filed by the PSC rank holders who had been protesting the LDF government’s decision. The High Court noted that the organisations would continue the status of employment as on the date of the Court order. Meanwhile, the Court has also ordered the Kerala government and the mentioned organisations to file their replies on the matter within a week.
The third matter is against LDF’s Nilambur MLA PV Anwar, who according to the Land Board has acquired more land than those specified in the Land Reforms Act. According to the allegation, Anwar owns 207 acres, while the limit is 15 acres. The board filed the case after studying the reports filed by Kozhikode and Malappuram collectors. However, despite the order to take action against him, the state government has not done anything to further the investigation, which invited the criticism of the High Court. The court has asked the state to reply within the stipulated time.