Religion for votes costs MP his seat
The Kerala High Court on Tuesday unseated Lok Sabha member P.C. Thomas (Kerala Congress Joseph), a former Union minister, and declared his opponent P.M. Ismail (CPM) elected from the Muvatupuzha parliamentary constituency.india Updated: Nov 01, 2006 01:42 IST
HC indicts ex-Union minister, declares opponent elected
The Kerala High Court on Tuesday unseated Lok Sabha member P.C. Thomas (Kerala Congress Joseph), a former Union minister, and declared his opponent P.M. Ismail (CPM) elected from the Muvatupuzha parliamentary constituency.
Hearing a petition challenging his election, a single bench of the court agreed to the petitioner’s (Ismail) contention that Thomas had made a communal appeal to win over his electorate.
However, the verdict has been stayed for a month to enable Thomas to approach a higher court.
Delivering the 81-page judgment, which has the potential to set a precedent in similar cases, Justice C.N. Ramachandran observed that Thomas had published a calendar containing his photograph with Pope John Paul II and Mother Theresa violating the Representation of Peoples’ Act. Pamphlets appealing to religious minorities (Christians) were also distributed during the election.
Reacting to the verdict Thomas said he would move the Supreme Court soon. “I have to check on what grounds the court arrived at the conclusion. Whatever I heard through media is baseless,” he said.
Son of the much-revered Christian leader P.T. Chacko, Thomas had won the 2004 election with a wafer-thin majority of 529 votes. He was elected to Parliament on a National Democratic Alliance ticket. He was inducted into A.B. Vajpayee’s cabinet as a MoS for law.