"ENTITLED TO LEGISLATIVE PRIVILEGES": KERELA GOVT MOVES TO SC SEEKING WITHDRAWAL OF CRIMINAL CASES FOR 2015 ASSEMBLY RUCKUS
The State of Kerala has filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court looking for the withdrawal of criminal instances against six distinguished CPI(M) contributors for the ruckus and vandalism prompted in the Kerala Legislative Assembly in 2015.
The SLP is filed against the March 12 judgment of a single bench of the Kerala High Court which had disregarded the state's revision petition against the refusal of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Thiruvananthapuram, to permit the withdrawal of prosecution in these instances under Section 321 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
A single bench of Justice VG Arun had determined that the withdrawal of prosecution "will not advance public justice". The High Court had also rejected the argument that the accused were entitled to protection of legislative privileges, gazing that the alleged acts have been now no longer "acts done in furtherance of the free functioning of the house."
In the plea before the Top Court, the Kerala Government say that the acts came about at some stage in a protest staged in opposition to the presentation of budget by the then Finance Minister KM Mani, who was dealing with allegations of involvement in bar-bribery scam.
It is argued that the High Court did not recognize that the alleged acts took place even as the meeting was in session, and subsequently no FIR might have been lodged with out the sanction of the Speaker. The FIR was registered by the Secretary of the Legislative Assembly with out the consent of the Speaker, it is stated.
Entitled to protection of legislative privileges
The petition raises the argument that the accused persons, who were then MLAs, are entitled to the safety of legislative privileges for his or her acts dedicated on the ground of the residence.
"Articles 105(3) and 194(3) of the Constitution of India confer certain privileges and immunities to the individuals of the Parliament and State Legislature. The act of the accused being on the subject of their function as members of the Legislative Assembly, no criminal complaints can be initiated", the plea states.
Referring to Chapter 12 of text book Practice and Procedure of Parliament through Kaul and Shakdher, the State of Kerala argues that acts committed in assembly, although punishable offences, are to be reckoned as a part of the proceedings of the house, for the reason of the protection of the members. At best, their motion will only amount to breach privilege or code of behavior for which only the Speaker is empowered to take action.
"The Learned single judge failed to consider the legal proposition that in regards to a crime committed in Parliament, the residence wherein it was committed might claim the right to determine whether or not to exercising its own jurisdiction or at hand the wrongdoer over to criminal courts. In taking this decision, it'd no doubt guided in the nature of the offense and the adequacy or inadequacy of the penalty, some what lacking in feasibility, which it could indict. However, there's no decision by the house on this case, and the collective protection to be had to the members of the residence become additionally left out by the learned Single Judge. The learned Single Judge did not consider article 105(3) of the Constitution of India and there's genuinely no discussion in regards to the stated privileges and immunities of the house, as a whole", the petition reads.
It is argued that the High Court did not see that the withdrawal programs have been filed by the Public Prosecutor in good faith and public interest. There isn't any justification at the presumption that the petition become filed with out good faith and on extraneous influence.
Six members of CPI(M) were booked under the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act for the vandalism in the residence. Out of the accused, V Sivankutty is now the Education Minister in the present 2nd term of the LDF government.