Kerala

Assembly ruckus case verdict on Oct. 6

The verdict in the discharge petition filed by General Education Minister V. Sivankutty and others in the Assembly ruckus case will be passed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Thiruvananthapuam, on October 6.

In the event of the trial court allowing the discharge petition, the accused legislators can walk free. If found guilty, the MLAs will have to face trial at the court itself. However, the accused can file appeal against the verdict in the High Court.

When the CJM took up the case on Thursday, the counsel for the accused contended that the charges levelled against the Minister and five others would not stand the test of law as they had not committed the offence of trespass as defined in law.

The dais of the Speaker cannot be considered as a private property. It is not even a private room, which is in the exclusive possession of the Speaker. However, the dais of the Speaker is part of the State Assembly and the legislators have access to the Assembly. Hence, entering the dais of the Speaker does not constitute the offence of trespass, he argued.

He also argued that the charge of destruction of public property, as levelled against the legislators, too would not stand. He questioned the non-inclusion of any legislator as witnesses in the case. It was only the police officers and staff of the Assembly who were made witnesses in the case, he submitted.

Opposing the discharge petition, the Deputy Director of Prosecution submitted that the accused committed the offence of trespass by entering the dais of the Speaker and caused the destruction of public property by damaging electronic equipment, including a microphone and computer. The members of the Assembly cannot enter the dais of the Speaker and hence entering the area shall constitute the offence of trespass, he submitted.

The police case is that the legislators, all LDF MLAs, who were in the Opposition then, entered the dais of the Speaker on March 13, 2015, and damaged public property in an attempt to prevent the then Finance Minister K.M. Mani from presenting the annual budget.


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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 5:07:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/assembly-ruckus-case-verdict-on-oct-6/article36634153.ece

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