The Kerala HC had set aside KM Shaji’s election after CPI(M)’s MV Nikesh Kumar filed a petition, alleging that the former made communal remarks during the polls in May 2016.

KM Shaji is no longer an MLA Kerala Assembly confirms
news Politics Monday, November 26, 2018 - 15:00

The Kerala Assembly on Saturday put out a bulletin confirming that Indian Union Muslim League MLA KM Shaji, whose election was set aside by the Kerala High Court, is no longer a member of the assembly. “Based on the Kerala High Court election petition 11/2016, the verdict which came out on 9/11/2018 nullifies the election of 14th Kerala Assembly member Shri KM Shaji. This verdict was subsequently stayed by the High Court,” the circular stated.

“Following this, neither the High Court nor the Supreme Court extended the stay. In this circumstance, Shri KM Shaji is no longer a member of the assembly as on 24.11.2018," read Saturday's bulletin signed by Speaker Prakash Babu. On November 9, the Kerala High Court had set aside the election of KM Shaji, an IUML MLA who won from Azhikode against journalist and CPI(M) candidate MV Nikesh Kumar.

The verdict was given following the petition filed by MV Nikesh Kumar, who alleged that Shaji had made communal remarks during the run-up to the polls in May 2016. The High Court stayed the verdict for a period of two weeks and Shaji subsequently petitioned the Supreme Court to extend the stay.

The SC, on November 22, stated that the stay would not be extended.

With the High Court stay ending and the Supreme Court unwilling to extend Shaji's stay, the Kerala assembly has now confirmed that the MLA is no longer part of the assembly.

In Nikesh's petition filed in November 2016, he said that Shaji had distributed pamphlets, asking Muslim voters not to vote for non-Muslim candidates. The pamphlet, accessed by TNM, stated that non-muslims will not cross the path to heaven.

"All Muslims, please pray to Allah for the victory of he who prays five times a day for our safety – K Mohammad Shaji or KM Shaji. Please vote for KM Shaji and lead him to victory," the pamphlet read.

After disqualification

Following the verdict, KM Shaji has been stripped of all benefits that come with the MLA position. He will not be allowed to contest elections for the next six years and has also been ordered to pay Rs 50,000 as compensation to Nikesh Kumar.

Additionally, Shaji will no longer be able to attend the assembly sessions commencing on November 27, Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan said. This development comes after the Supreme Court made an oral observation that Shaji can attend the assembly session although he remains disqualified.

The speaker clarified that oral observations from the Supreme Court cannot be considered a judgment. With the duration of the stay for implementing the High Court expiring and no further orders being given by any courts, the High Court order will be executed, he added.

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