Kerala

No special prosecutor in Assembly ruckus case

The Opposition demand for a special prosecutor in the politically sensitive Assembly ruckus case has been turned down by the government.

K. Balachandra Menon, the Deputy Director of Prosecution, Thiruvananthapuram, will appear for the State when the withdrawal petition filed by State Minister V. Sivankutty, K.T. Jaleel, MLA and four former LDF MLAs in the case comes up for hearing. R. Rekha, the Chief Judicial Magistrate, (CJM), Thiruvananthapuram, will consider the case on August 9.

The CJM had earlier dismissed the State government’s plea to withdraw the criminal case booked against the six accused. The Minister will have to face trial in the criminal case if the CJM rejects the compounding petition, legal sources indicated.

Incidentally, Mr. Menon had written to the State government seeking clarification on who should appear for the case as the government had earlier asked a senior public prosecutor to argue its case.

The Director General of Prosecution has issued orders asking the Deputy Director of Prosecution, Thiruvananthapuram, to appear before the CJM court on Monday, said M.S. Girish Panchu, the Director of Prosecution (Administration). The earlier order appointing S. Jailkumar, the Assistant Public Prosecutor, to appear in the case became infructuous with his retirement from the service, he said.

Cong. plea for special prosecutor

Regarding the demand of Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala, MLA, for the appointment of a special prosecutor, Mr. Panchu said such appointments were done only in cases involving serious and heinous offences. The State government had issued a circular in 2017 detailing the cases in which special prosecutors could be appointed. Generally, no special prosecutor is appointed in cases of lesser offences. The Assembly case did not qualify for the appointment of a special prosecutor, he said.

Case history

The case had attained new dimensions with the Supreme Court slamming the State government for seeking the withdrawal of prosecution in the criminal case booked in connection with the unruly scenes that occurred on the floor of the State Assembly on March 13, 2015. The LDF members, who were in the Opposition, had forcefully entered the dais of the Speaker and damaged the chair, electronic equipment including the display panel and mike, and caused a loss of ₹2.20 lakh, so as to prevent the then Finance Minister K.M. Mani from presenting the Budget. Though the State had raised the contention of legislative privilege in the case, it did not find favour with the apex court.


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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 12:16:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/no-special-prosecutor-in-assembly-ruckus-case/article35738646.ece

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