Kerala Opposition Demands Minister's Resignation In Assembly Ruckus Case

V Sivankutty, Kerala's Education Minister, has indicated that he would not resign as the top court has not made any observation warranting his resignation.

Kerala Opposition Demands Minister's Resignation In Assembly Ruckus Case

Kerala Opposition said V Sivankutty does not have moral right to continue as minister. (File)

Thiruvananthapuram:

The opposition Congress on Wednesday pressed for the resignation of the Kerala Education Minister after the Supreme Court dismissed a state government plea seeking withdrawal of a criminal case against Left Democratic Front (LDF) MLAs, including V Sivankutty, in connection with the ruckus inside the state Assembly in 2015.

Senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala, who waged the legal battle seeking trial of MLAs involved in the ruckus, urged Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to seek Mr Sivankutty's resignation immediately in view of the Supreme Court verdict.

Other UDF leaders including Congress' K Sudhakaran, VD Satheesan and Muslim League leader P K Kunhalikutty and BJP state president K Surendran also said Mr Sivankutty should step down immediately.

They said Mr Sivankutty does not have moral right to continue as the minister.

However, Mr Sivankutty indicated that he would not resign as the top court has not made any observation warranting his resignation.

In its judgement, the court observed that right to free speech and privileges of lawmakers do not extend them immunity against criminal law.

It said that destruction of public property cannot be equated to an exercise essential to discharge of functions as members of the House.

The state assembly had witnessed unprecedented scenes on March 13, 2015 as LDF members, then in opposition, tried to prevent then finance minister K M Mani, who was facing allegations in the bar bribery scam, from presenting the state budget.

Besides flinging the Speaker's chair from the podium, electronic equipment like computers, keyboards and mikes on the desk of the presiding officer were also allegedly damaged by the then LDF members.

In its plea filed in the top court against the March 12 order of the high court, the Kerala government had claimed that the high court had failed to appreciate that the alleged incident had occurred while the Assembly was in session and no crime could have been registered "without previous sanction" of the Speaker.

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