Protests erupt across Kerala as CM Pinarayi Vijayan mulls to withdraw vandalism cases against MLAs

Pinarayi Vijayan was planning to withdraw cases filed against six legislators for vandalism inside the assembly in 2015.

Published: 21st January 2018 05:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st January 2018 05:03 PM   |  A+A-

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan (File | PTI)


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Protests have got louder after reports emerged on Sunday that Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was planning to withdraw cases filed against six legislators for vandalism inside the assembly in 2015.

Vijayan has taken up the issue with the concerned departments.

On March 13, 2015, then Finance Minister KM Mani was presenting the budget for a new fiscal when the CPI-M-led opposition took a stand that Mani, who was under a cloud over allegedly taking a bribe from a bar owner, will not be allowed to present the budget.

That day chaos broke out in the Assembly, with angry Left legislators throwing the Speaker's chair out of the dais and damaging microphones. The damage was estimated at Rs 6 lakh.

Then-Speaker N Sakthan asked for a Crime Branch probe which found that now Local Self Government Minister KT Jaleel, now CPI-M legislator EP Jayarajan and four ex-legislators from the CPI-M besides K Ajith of CPI had caused the ruckus.

V Sivankutty, a former MLA, asked Vijayan to withdraw the case. He told the media on Sunday that there cannot be two punishments for one act.

"The then Speaker who should have acted impartially functioned as a stooge of the government and he first suspended us and then a police case was registered," he said.

Congress legislator and former Minister KC Joseph said that if Vijayan withdrew the case, he would move the court.

"We will go to any extent to prevent the case from being withdrawn. The law is the same for the common man and legislators," said Joseph.

Former legislator Antony Raju said the practise of withdrawing cases was nothing new.

With a fresh session of the Assembly set to begin on Monday, the House could see protests on the issue.

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