Aday after Congress leader K S Sabarinadhan was arrested in connection with the in-flight protest against Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the opposition UDF on Wednesday tried to raise the issue in the Assembly, but the Speaker denied permission to table a motion to adjourn the House to debate, citing rules, following which they staged a walk-out.
Alleging that the police tried to mislead even the court and arrested the former MLA slapping serious charges, Shafi Parambil (Congress) sought a notice for an adjournment motion demanding a discussion over the matter during the Zero Hour.
However, Law Minister P Rajeev, who raised a point of order against it, said the matter was not of any serious nature to be raised as an adjournment motion in the House.
”It is a matter under the consideration of the court. So it is a violation of rules and proceedings to raise on the floor of the House,” he said, objecting to the opposition notice.
Sabarinadhan has been granted bail by the court in the flight protest case, and any statement made in this connection would affect the legal proceedings, the Law Minister pointed out.
Quoting Assembly rules and procedures, he said there is a specific ruling that the discussions or statements from either the government side or the opposition, which directly or indirectly affects a serious case, could not be entertained in the House.
However, Leader of Opposition, V D Satheesan strongly objected to the Law Minister’s arguments saying that precedents were also important in the House proceedings and several issues including the Solar scam and Bar bribery issue had been taken up in the Assembly several times before.
The solar scam and the bar bribery row were among the controversies, which shook the previous Congress-UDF government.
”Between 2011-2016, the solar case had been allowed to be discussed seven times as part of the adjournment motion when it was under the consideration of the trial court as well as High Court. Just like that, the bar bribery case had been discussed four times under Rule 50,” he recalled.
Criticising the Left government, he said it was not ”appropriate” to quote the rules and precedents according to their convenience. ”The House has the long precedent of granting permission to raise serious issues on its floor. Whether it is to be discussed or not is the discretion of the government and the speaker. But, it is the privilege of the opposition to present the issue through a notice for adjournment motion,” Satheesan said.
He alleged that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was scared to allow debate on adjournment motion.
Deputy Speaker Chittayam Gopakumar, who chaired the House, however, accepted the ruling front’s arguments and rejected the demand by the Congress-UDF for discussion on the issue.
He also said the opposition could bring the issue as a submission in the House later in the day.
The UDF members walked out of the House in protest against denial of permission to present the notice for adjournment motion.
Sabarinadhan, a two-time former legislator and the vice president of the state Youth Congress, was arrested on Tuesday for plotting the alleged attempt on the life of CM on-board an Indigo aircraft that landed here, last month.
However, a court granted him bail. Sabarinadhan has rejected the charges that he took part in the conspiracy to target the CM inside the aircraft.