The Supreme Court decided on Tuesday to hear the State of Kerala’s petition for the withdrawal of criminal charges against six prominent CPI(M) members for causing a commotion and vandalism in the Kerala Legislative Assembly in 2015.
Following the Kerala Government’s petition to the Supreme Court, the six accused members also petitioned the Court, requesting that the cases be dismissed. A three-judge Bench comprised of Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Subhash Reddy, and Justice Ravindra Bhat will hear the State’s plea as well as other pleas filed by the accused in the case.
The current SLP comes in response to a one-off ruling by the Kerala High Court on March 12, which dismissed the state’s refusal against Chief Justice Thiruvananthapuram to comply with Article 321 of the Criminal Procedure Law.
In the Supreme Court’s argument, the Kerala government claimed that these actions took place during a protest against the proposed budget by then-Finance Minister KM Mani, who was facing charges of participating in a bribery scam. According to the report, the FIR was registered by the Secretary of the Legislative Assembly without the Speaker’s consent.
The petition contends that the accused, who were MLAs at the time, are entitled to legislative privilege protection for their actions on the floor of the house.
Six members of the CPI(M) were charged with vandalism in the house under the Indian Penal Code and the Public Property Damage Prevention Act. Among the defendants, V Sivankutty is now the Minister of Education for the second term of the LDF government. Former LDF government ministers EP Jayarajan and KT Jaleel, CPIM members CK Sahadevan, K Ajith and K Kunhammed are the other defendants.