Kerala HC dismisses govt plea to withdraw Assembly ruckus case

The state Assembly witnessed unprecedented scenes in 2015 as LDF members, tried to prevent KM Mani from presenting the state budget.
Kerala assembly
Kerala assembly
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The Kerala High Court on Friday dismissed a plea filed by the state government seeking withdrawal of a criminal case registered in connection with the ruckus inside the Assembly in 2015 during the previous Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) rule.

Earlier, the trial court in Thiruvananthapuram had rejected the plea filed by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government seeking withdrawal of the case filed under various provisions of Prevention of Damage to Public Property (PDPP) Act by the then UDF government.

The government challenged this.

Ministers EP Jayarajan and KT Jaleel and LDF leaders K Ajith, V Sivankutty, CK Sadasivan and K Kunhammed, Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) at the time, are the accused in the case registered against a group of LDF MLAs for "creating ruckus" by trying to prevent budget presentation by then Finance Minister, late KM Mani.

Dismissing the plea, the high court observed that there was merit in the case and directed them to face trial.

The state Assembly had witnessed unprecedented scenes on March 13, 2015 as LDF members, then in opposition, tried to prevent Mani, who was facing charges in the bar bribery scam, from presenting the state budget.

Besides flinging the Speaker's chair from the podium, electronic equipment like computers, keyboard and mikes on the desk of the presiding officer were also allegedly damaged by the LDF members. Reportedly it was the first time that a ruckus of this magnitude happened between the ruling and opposing fronts in the state Assembly.

The previous Oommen Chandy government filed the case under Prevention of Destruction of Public Property Act and IPC sections 447 (criminal trespass) and 427 (mischief causing damage).

In 2018, the LDF government approached court for withdrawal of the case against its ministers and leaders.

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