A lower court here on Wednesday read out the charges against State Education Minister V.Sivankutty and four other leaders of their involvement in vandalism in the floor of the Assembly in 2015.
The Assembly had witnessed violent scenes in March 2015, after the then Left opposition tried to prevent then Finance Minister K.M. Mani from presenting the Budget, alleging his role in the bar bribery case.
Of the six accused, Sivankutty and K.T. Jaleel are members of the present Assembly. While Sivankutty is the state education minister, Jaleel is a former minister. The others are Left Democratic Front convenor E.P. Jayarajan, C.K. Sadasivan, Kunhammed Master and K. Ajith (all four were legislators during 2011-16).
On Wednesday barring Jayarajan, all the others were present and the charge sheet was read out implicating their role in vandalisation that caused a loss of Rs 2.50 lakh to the properties in the floor of the Assembly.
All the five present denied doing such a thing, while Jayarajan’s counsel said he was indisposed and was resting at his Kannur house.
The court while granting leave for Jayarajan, asked him to be present on September 26, when his charge sheet would be read out and the detailed schedule of the trial will be put out.
Incidentally, the Kerala government had previously approached the Supreme court seeking withdrawal of the criminal cases against these six leaders, but the apex court ruled that there was no immunity or privilege to protect legislators indulging in vandalism during a House session.
The apex court had asked all of them to face trial.
This had created a political furore with the Congress and the BJP demanding Sivankutty’s resignation, which was outrightly rejected by the CPI-M.
They all have been charged under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and other provisions.