- Petition filed against CPI(M) MLA Saji Cherian
- Demand for disqualification as MLA
- Controversy arose over remarks against the constitution
Kerala News: A petition has been filed in the Kerala High Court seeking disqualification of Saji Cherian of the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist as an MLA. CPI(M) MLA Saji Cherian had on July 6 resigned as a minister in the state government following a controversy over his remarks against the Constitution. Earlier, he was also suspended from the state assembly for a day. The petition claimed that Cherian violated Articles 173 (A) and 188 of the Constitution and a case has also been registered against him under the Prevention of Insults to National Honor Act, 1971 in connection with his controversial speech.
State government’s argument
During the hearing of the petition in the High Court on Tuesday, the state government argued that even if a minister has violated his oath, there cannot be a demand to disqualify him as an MLA. The relief sought in the writ petition cannot be granted. The High Court said that Article 173 of the Constitution deals with the qualifications to be an MLA and cannot be applied in this case.
What did the court say?
The court, however, observed that Cherian’s statement falls within the purview of Article 188. Article 188 deals with the breach of oath or assertion by the members of the Legislative Assembly or the Legislative Council of a State. The High Court observed that perusing the documents of the case, there is no reference to it coming within the purview of the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 to disqualify the MLA. The court asked the petitioner to place before it the relevant provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, election related laws or any order issued by the Election Commission of India in this regard.
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