All's well that ends well. The Supreme Court has ordered Communist Party of India (Marxist) State committee member M.V. Jayarajan's release on bail from the Central Prison here and that has proved to be a shot in the arm for the party.
By present reckoning, Mr. Jayarajan should be out of the prison by Wednesday noon. Although the CPI(M) leadership had, immediately after the Supreme Court decision, decided to go big on it, the party is now stated to be thinking of a more sober response. This could mean that Mr. Jayarajan's release on bail would be more in terms of substance than of noise. He would be accorded a rousing welcome as he emerges from the prison and there is likely to be a public meeting to explain the party position on connected issues.
When Mr. Jayarajan, sentenced to six months' imprisonment for contempt of court by the Kerala High Court, was brought to the Central Prison last week, slogan-shouting party workers had thronged the prison gate making it almost impossible for the police to take the vehicle in which Mr. Jayarajan was brought from Kochi to the prison premises. There were also repeated attempts en route to stop the police convoy.
Party Central committee members P.K. Sreemathy and M.C. Josephine called on Mr. Jayarajan at the Central Prison shortly after the Supreme Court order became known. Speaking to reporters outside the prison, Ms. Sreemathy said Mr. Jayarajan appeared confident that he would get a favourable verdict from the Supreme Court.
The CPI(M) rightfully feels vindicated by the Supreme Court's order and its sharp criticism of the Kerala High Court's denial of bail to Mr. Jayarajan. The party had all along taken the position that the High Court had overstepped its limits and, with the Supreme Court also taking a similar position, the party feels that its criticism of the judiciary was fully justified. It had displayed restraint when staging a protest against the High Court verdict on Monday. Although the response to the Supreme Court decision may not be as muted, it would certainly not be of a kind that goes overboard.
As much was said by CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan when reacting to the Supreme Court verdict in Kozhikode. The Supreme Court's observations, he pointed out, clearly showed that the High Court had overstepped its limits. According to him, the apex court would not have made any remark about the peaceful protest staged by the party in front of the High Court if the lawyer appearing for the court had not made ‘false accusations' about the protest.
Speaking on similar lines, Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan told reporters in Kottayam that the Supreme Court had set an example for the entire judiciary in the country with its decision to release Mr. Jayarajan on bail.