Kerala State Education Minister V Sivankutty and five other leaders on Monday filed a petition in the Kerala High Court seeking a stay in the trial for indulging in vandalism in the floor of the Assembly in 2015. They sought a stay on their discharge petition which was dismissed by the trial court in the state capital.
Incidentally, the Kerala government had approached the Supreme court in July seeking withdrawal of the criminal cases against these six leaders, but the apex court ruled that there is no immunity or privilege to protect legislators indulging in vandalism during a House session. The apex court had asked all of them to face trial. This had created a political furore with the Congress and the BJP demanding Sivankutty's resignation, which was outrightly rejected by the CPI-M.
And with the trial all set to commence shortly, the six leaders have approached the High Court with a fresh petition. The court, however, did not stay the petition, but accepted their petition in the file.
Of the six accused, V Sivankutty and KT Jaleel are members of the present Assembly. While Sivankutty is the state education minister, Jaleel is a former minister. The others are EP Jayarajan, CK Sadasivan, Kunahmed Master and K Ajith. They all were charged under the prevention of damage to public property act and other provisions.
The Assembly had witnessed violent scenes in March 2015, after the then Left opposition tried to prevent the then finance minister KM Mani from presenting the budget, alleging his role in the bar bribery case.