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Supreme Court adjourns hearing of Kerala government plea seeking directions to withdraw 2015 Assembly violence cases against CPM leaders

It said that high court failed to appreciate the fact that the alleged offences under Section 447 and 427 of IPC and Section 3(1) of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, happened on the floor of the Legislative Assembly during the Budget Session of the legislature as a part of the protest by opposition members against the budget presentation by the then Finance Minister due to the then prevailing political reason.

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The Supreme Court bench led by Justice DY Chandrachud adjourns hearing till Monday in a plea by Kerala’s Pinarayi Vijayan Government seeking directions to withdraw cases against CPI(M) leaders, including Kerala Education Minister V. Sivankutty, for vandalism inside Assembly in 2015, when the current regime was not in power.

Today, the matter came up for hearing before the three-judge of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, R. Subhash Reddy and S. Ravindra Bhat. The Court was informed by Senior Counsel Jaideep Gupta that they have filed an SLP on behalf of the accused. The Court has tagged along the SLP with the main matter filed by the State Government and list the matter for hearing on Monday, July 5, 2021.

Earlier, the Kerala High Court while dismissing the state government plea said, “Here the allegation is of the functioning of the Assembly Session having been disrupted by the members by trespassing into the Speaker’s dais and committing mischief. The aforementioned acts, if proven to be true, can, by no stretch of imagination, be deemed to be acts done in furtherance of the free functioning of the house.”

The MLAs had vandalised the Speaker’s dais, uprooted his chair, pulled out mike system, computer etc.

The special leave petition filed by the state government said: “When Article 105(3), 194(3) of the Constitution of India confers certain privileges and immunities to the members of the Parliament and State Legislature, is it proper for the Secretary of Legislative Assembly to file cases against the MLAs with regard to an incident that happened on the floor of the House during the protest made by the opposition members, that too without the consent of the Speaker of the Assembly?”

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It said that high court failed to appreciate the fact that the alleged offences under Section 447 and 427 of IPC and Section 3(1) of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, happened on the floor of the Legislative Assembly during the Budget Session of the legislature as a part of the protest by opposition members against the budget presentation by the then Finance Minister due to the then prevailing political reason.

“The FIR registered by the Secretary Legislative Assembly without the consent of the Speaker is wrong and therefore the application filed under section 321 Cr.P.C. is liable to be allowed,” said the state government.

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