New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed a Kerala High Court order that disqualified K M Shaji as an MLA on the ground that he made communal remarks in the run-up to the assembly polls in the state in 2016.
The SC while allowing Shaji to continue as an MLA, said that he can neither take part in voting in the assembly nor enjoy the benefits of a legislator.
The High Court had on November 9 disqualified Shaji for six years and directed the Kerala Assembly speaker and the Election Commission to take appropriate action.
The HC had delivered the judgement on a plea filed by LDF candidate M V Nikesh Kumar, who contested the election against Shaji at Azhikode.
In his petition, Nikesh had alleged that Shaji of the IUML secured a win by a margin of 2,287 votes using corrupt practices and violated norms prescribed under various sections of the Representation of the People Act to win the elections.
Nikesh had alleged that an appeal was made to voters by Shaji, his agents and other persons to vote for the UDF candidate on grounds of his religion.
He had also charged that pamphlets were circulated in the constituency urging people not to vote for a candidate who is not a believer of the Islamic faith.
The IUML is a partner of the opposition United Democratic Front that is led by the Congress in Kerala.