Thiruvananthapuram: A court here on Thursday rejected a plea by two lawyers seeking to intervene in the discharge applications moved by six LDF leaders, including Kerala Education Minister V Sivankutty, in the 2015 assembly ruckus case against them.
Chief Judicial Magistrate R Rekha rejected the lawyers' plea on the ground that they were neither the de-facto complainants nor the informers in the case and therefore, they had no interest in the matter, a lawyer associated with the case told PTI.
Advocate K Nagendran, whose firm is representing five of the six accused in the case, confirmed the order. He also said that while senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala had not moved any application for intervention in the matter, oral arguments were made on his behalf stating that a representation was pending before the state government to appoint a special prosecutor in the case.
He said that the discharge applications of the six have been listed for hearing on September 23.
The trial court in September last year had rejected the LDF government's plea for withdrawing a case related to the ruckus in the state assembly in 2015, saying allowing it would send a wrong message to society. The petition was filed by the government seeking withdrawal of the case registered under sections 447 (criminal trespass), 427 (mischief causing damage), read with section 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Sec 3(1) of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property (PDPP) Act by the previous Oommen Chandy-led UDF government.
Besides Sivankutty, the other accused in the case are E P Jayarajan, K T Jaleel, K Ajith, C K Sadasivan and K Kunhammed, all opposition MLAs then. Subsequently on July 28, the Supreme Court dismissed Kerala government's plea for withdrawal of the case against the six LDF leaders, saying privileges and immunities "are not gateways" to claim exemptions from criminal law which governs the action of every citizen.
The apex court had also said that committing acts of destruction of public property cannot be equated with either freedom of speech in the legislature or with forms of protest legitimately available to the members of the Opposition. It had said that an alleged act of destruction of public property within the House by members to lodge their protest against presentation of budget cannot be regarded as "essential for exercising their legislative functions".
The assembly had witnessed unprecedented scenes on March 13, 2015 as the LDF members then in opposition tried to prevent Finance Minister K M Mani, who was facing charges 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 microphones on the desk of the presiding officer were also allegedly damaged by the then LDF members, causing a loss of Rs 2.20 lakh The top court had delivered its verdict on two separate appeals, including the one filed by state against the Kerala High Court's March 12 order dismissing the plea for withdrawal of the criminal case in the matter.