Kochi (Kerala) [India], November 23 (ANI): Kerala Education Minister V Sivankutty and five others on Monday approached Kerala High Court and filed a petition seeking a stay in the trial of the Assembly ruckus case registered in 2015.
They challenged the order of the Thiruvananthapuram Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, which rejected their discharge petition in this case.
Apart from V Sivankutty, other accused are former Higher Education Minister and present LDF MLA KT Jaleel, former Industries Minister EP Jayarajan, former CPIM MLAs K Ajith, K Kunhammad Master and CK Sadasivan approached the High Court.
The case pertains to a protest by the then Opposition MLAs, now the ruling party, who had barged into the Speaker's podium and destroyed computers and chairs. The then Opposition, LDF, had created a ruckus trying to stop the speech of then Kerala Finance Minister KM Mani of the UDF government, who they alleged had taken a bribe for granting bar licences.
They sought the High Court to call for the records from the lower court leading to the said order.
The petition read, "The lower court has erred in failing to consider or apply the various binding precedents relied on by the petitioners while defending the plea for discharge. There is no material available on record on the basis of which the Magistrate could reasonably come to the conclusion that the petitioners had any intent to protest against the Assembly proceedings. More than 130 MLAs were present in the Legislative Assembly Hall and none of them complained about the incident."
It further stated: "A case was registered against the petitioners with an ulterior motive and malafide intentions on the basis of a latter of the Secretary of the Legislative Assembly. The petitioners were totally innocent of the allegations levelled, and that the finding of the final report filed by the Deputy Police Superintendent are not supported by any legal evidence. The Speaker of the Assembly, who is the competent authority to take action in such cases, had not made any complaint in this regard, and that in the absence of the same, the criminal proceedings cannot stand."
The petition filed by the accused persons further stated that the final report of the case is not supported by any legal evidence.
"The petitioners would be put to irreparable hardship, unbearable injury and serious prejudice if the prosecution proceedings are allowed to continue. The petitioners were totally innocent of the allegations raised and the findings in the final report of the case were not supported by any legal evidence. The final report conspicuously excluded the Speaker and the nearly 130 MLAs, who were present in the Assembly, from the list of witnesses. The final report was the product of a highly tainted and biased investigation to project a totally distorted version of incidents which took place in the Assembly," the petition read. (ANI)