BREAKING: "Parliamentary Privilege, not vandalism": Kerala Government moves Supreme Court seeking permission to withdraw cases against prominent CPM leaders for vandalism in Kerala Assembly in 2015.
Kerala government has moved Supreme Court seeking permission to withdraw cases against prominent CPM leaders for vandalism in Kerala Assembly in 2015.
The Kerala Government vide a Plea filed on April 28, has sought a stay on the order of the High Court dated March 12, 2021 in which it had rejected the plea against an order of dismissal by the chief Judicial Magistrate's Court at Thiruvananthapuram, seeking permission to withdraw prosecution from the accused ministers.
The High Court had noted in its order dated March 12, 2021 that the question is whether the acts allegedly committed by the accused, which, if proven, would be offences punishable under the Indian Penal Code, are to be reckoned as part of the proceedings of the House, for the purpose of their protection.
"The answer can only be in the negative, since privileges and immunities are provided to ensure smooth functioning of the House by guaranteeing absolute freedom to the members to speak and participate in its deliberations. Here the allegation is of the functioning of the Assembly Session having been disrupted by the members by trespassing into the Speakers Dias 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 High Court had said.
The Kerala Government has argued that the alleged acts of the accused being in relation to their function as members of the Legislative Assembly, no criminal proceedings can be initiated.
It is pertinent to mention that the Chief Judicial Magistrate court dealing with the criminal cases against the MP's had earlier dismissed the Government's plea to withdraw the case pertaining to the vandalism caused in the state assembly, leading to a disruption the annual budget speech.
The court had then made it amply clear that the case of destroying public properties cannot be withdrawn and had heavily come down on the government.
Narrating the background on the vandalism caused, the Kerala Government Government argues before Supreme Court that in 2015-2016, the budget session of the Kerala Legislative assembly was being conducted in a "charged atmosphere" and allegations of nepotism were being raised against the finance minister and it was during protests by opposition members that the alleged ruckus occurred.
Kerala Government defends the actions of the ministers by stating that in its plea that though members of the "ruling party were equally at fault", they have certain privileges on account of being MP's, in terms of Articles 105(3) and 194(3) of the Constitution of India.
"At best, their action will only amount to breach of privilege or code of conduct for which only the Speaker is empowered to take action. The Public Prosecutor performs an executive function while submitting an application under Section 321 and the role of the court is only supervisory," the Government said in its plea.
Picture Credits: East Coast Daily, manoramaonline