The Kerala High Court on Thursday dismissed two pleas seeking a declaration that CPI(M) legislator and former state Minister Saji Cheriyan is not entitled to hold the office of MLA in view of his speech allegedly insulting the Indian Constitution.
The order was passed by a bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly.
Advocate Deepu Lal Mohan, appearing for the Election Commission, confirmed the dismissal of the two pleas.
The detailed order is not yet available.
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The petitions had claimed that Cheriyan’s actions attracted disqualification under Section 9 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
Section 9 of the Act states that ”a person who having held an office under the government of India or under the government of any state has been dismissed for corruption or for disloyalty to the state shall be disqualified for a period of five years from the date of such dismissal.” The pleas had also contended that Cheriyan’s conduct was a violation of Articles 173(a) and 188 of the Constitution and a case has also been registered against him under the Insults to National Honour Act, 1971 in connection with his controversial speech.
The speech had created a political row in the state with the proceedings of the state Assembly being suspended for a day due to protests by the opposition demanding that Cheriyan resign or be sacked and finally resulted in his resignation from his cabinet posts on July 6.