With the Supreme Court on Thursday posing tough questions to the Kerala government on its plea to withdraw cases against CPI-M leaders in the 2015 Assembly ruckus, veteran Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala slammed the Pinarayi Vijayan dispensation for going to the apex court in the matter.
The former Leader of Opposition, who has been after this petition by always filing counter-petitions said that if Chief Minister Vijayan “has any shame left, he should withdraw this petition filed by the government”.
“Counsel for the government failed to even give a response when it was asked what is the public interest in this case. For the past four years, I have been pursuing this case and by now, the Vijayan government has spent crores from the public exchequer in this case. If there is any shame left, the Vijayan government can still decide to withdraw this petition,” he said.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court came down heavily on the Kerala government, asking if it is in public interest to damage the sanctum sanctorum of democracy and justify claiming that the house is the supreme authority on the matter.
As the Kerala government submitted before a bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and M.R. Shah that the House has the prerogative to take action against MLAs for creating a ruckus in the Assembly, Justice Chandrachud asked senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, representing the state: “Suppose an MLA whips out a revolver in the Assembly and also empties his revolver. Can you say the house is supreme on this?”
Justice Shah asked why the government was pursuing the withdrawal application and advancing defence arguments, when it should have been done by the accused. “Is it in public interest?” he asked.
The top court’s remarks came during the hearing of the Kerala government’s plea seeking its nod to withdraw cases against CPI-M leaders, including present Education Minister V. Sivankutty, for vandalism in the Assembly in 2015, when the party was in the Opposition.
The Chief Judicial Magistrate of Thiruvananthapuram and the Kerala High Court had rejected the withdrawal application.