Kerala

Uncertainty over prosecutor in Assembly ruckus case

Uncertainty prevails over the State prosecutor who has to argue the discharge petition in the politically sensitive Assembly ruckus case in which the State Minister V. Sivankutty is among the accused.

K. Balachandra Menon, Deputy Director of Prosecution, Thiruvananthapuram, has written to the State government seeking clarification on the prosecutor who should appear in the case when the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, Thiruvananthapuram, considers the case on August 9.

Six accused

Besides Mr. Sivankutty, K.T. Jaleel, MLA, and four former legislators of the LDF have been arraigned as accused in the case. The developments in the case attains significance as the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) has been clamouring for the resignation of the Minister. The State government has not yielded to the Opposition demands.

S. Jailkumar, the Assistant Public Prosecutor, Thiruvananthapuram, was assigned the responsibility of handling the case after S.S. Beena Satish, the Deputy Director of Prosecution, Thiruvananthapuram, who had appeared in the case earlier, was transferred to Alappuzha. Mr. Jailkumar had retired from service on May 31. The clarification on who should appear in the case was sought since the order for conducting the case was issued in the name of Mr. Jailkumar and he was no longer in the service, legal sources said.

Controversy erupts

The role of the prosecutor in the case has been mired in controversy ever since Ms. Satish allegedly refused to toe the government line of withdrawing the prosecution against the legislators. She was transferred to Alappuzha after Mr. Sivankutty reportedly complained to the Chief Minister that she colluded with the then Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala against the government in the case. It was also alleged that Ms. Satish had refused to put forward the arguments for withdrawing the prosecution in the case.

Refusing the allegations, the former prosecutor said she had discharged her duties faithfully and had not colluded with anyone in the case. “Only those steps that were good in law were taken in the case. I refused to budge to some illegal external and unwarranted interference from certain quarters,” she said.

Incidentally, Mr. Chennithala, who has impleaded in the case, has demanded the appointment of a Special Public Prosecutor in the case.


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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 7:29:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/uncertainty-over-prosecutor-in-assembly-ruckus-case/article35715916.ece

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