The Kerala High Court on Thursday held that the disqualified members of Ottappalam municipality should not hold the posts of chairperson or vice-chairperson.
Justice K Surendramohan issued the order on a petition filed by P Parukutty, a disqualified chairperson of the civic body, vice-chairperson S Shelvan and councillor B Babu, challenging the election commission’s order.
After the local body elections conducted in November 2010, the United Democratic Front (UDF) had won only eight seats. But they were supported by five rebels of the CPM, three rebels of the Congress and an Independent. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had won four seats in the 36-member council.
In the first election for electing the chairperson and vice-chairperson, Congress candidates Rani George and P M A Jaleel were elected with 17 votes, as against 15 won by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate. The BJP councillors abstained from the election.
In May 2012, the Congress was voted out in a no-confidence motion. Later, Parukutty was elected chairperson and Shelvan as vice-chairperson.
Following a complaint by Jose Thomas, the election commission disqualified the councillors, on charges of defection.