Two Kerala ministers get bail in five-year old case related to violence in assembly
The HC had rejected their plea on Tuesday to stay the case and exempt their personal appearance in court. On October 15, the CJM’s court had ordered the six accused in the case, including the two ministers, to appear before it. Later, both ministers had moved the High Court.Updated: Oct 28, 2020, 22:17 IST
After the Kerala High Court refused to entertain their plea, two ministers in Pinarayi Vijayan’s cabinet appeared before the chief judicial magistrate’s (CJM) court in the state capital on Wednesday and took bail in a case relating to violent incidents in the assembly in 2015.
The HC had rejected their plea on Tuesday to stay the case and exempt their personal appearance in court. On October 15, the CJM’s court had ordered the six accused in the case, including the two ministers, to appear before it. Later, both ministers had moved the High Court.
The House witnessed violent incidents in March 2015 after opposition Left Democratic Front (LDF) legislators prevented then Finance Minister K M Mani from presenting the state budget alleging his role in a bar bribery case. Angry members snapped mikes, destroyed furniture and damaged lights in the melee and two legislators were later hospitalized. The session was live when violence unfolded in the House.
Then Speaker N Sakthan later filed a police complaint against six LDF legislators, two of them EP Jayarajan and KT Jaleel are ministers in the Pinarayi Vijayan ministry now. The complaint said property worth Rs 2.5 lakh was damaged in the melee and they tried to manhandle treasury bench members. But the case failed to make any progress and when the LDF came to power in 2016 the public prosecutor had sought permission to withdraw it but the court declined.
The government had invoked the privilege of legislators to justify its decision to withdraw the case but the court rejected it saying privilege was not a licence to carry out violent activities in the House.
During a discussion in the assembly last year chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said assembly proceedings should not be dragged to courts. Interestingly the Kerala Congress (Mani) is in the left camp now.