KOTTAYAM: In A major setback to Jose K Mani in his power struggle with P J Joseph to take the control of Kerala Congress (M), the Idukki Munsiff court on Saturday extended the Thodupuzha Munsiff court’s injunction order preventing him from officiating as the party chairman and discharging any functions and powers attached to the office.
The court announced its decision based on a petition filed by Philip Stephen and Manohar Naduviladath, two-state committee members from Idukki owning allegiance to Joseph, at Thodupzha Munsiff court against the election of Jose as the party chairman. Since the Munsiff judge at Thodupuzha court withdrew from hearing the case, it was transferred to the Idukki court.
The court rejected the petition filed by Jose, requesting to dismiss the interlocutory application filed along with the original suit that he should be restrained from officiating as the party chairman. Welcoming the court’s decision, KC(M) Idukki district president (Joseph faction) M J Jacob said the court has accepted P J Joseph’s position as the party working chairman, holding the charge of chairman, as per the constitution of the party.
According to a legal expert, the court’s decision has put Jose in a spot as it will prevent him from approaching the Election Commission of India (ECI) to endorse his election as the party chairman. “With the court extending the injunction order, Jose ceases to be the party chairman,” said a KC(M) leader with Joseph.
Jose, in his reply to the court’s decision, said he would take further steps after discussing with legal experts. However, he claimed the court has only put some restrictions, which would not affect his activities as chairman.“The court has prevented me only in some activities that include initiating disciplinary action against party workers. This will not affect my functioning as party chairman,” he said.