Ministers ordered to post ₹ 35,000 each as bail amount.
Chief Judicial Magistrate, Thiruvananthapuram, R. Jayakrishnan on Wednesday granted bail to two Ministers alleged to be among the six Left Democratic Front (LDF) legislators responsible for the vandalism in the Legislative Assembly on March 13, 2015.
The police had arraigned Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan and Higher Education Minister K.T. Jaleel as accused in the offence which had occurred when they were in the opposition.
The LDF legislators had disrupted the Assembly to prevent the then Finance Minister K.M. Mani from delivering his budget speech on the ground that he had accepted a bribe from the Kerala Bar Hotel Association (KBHA) to revoke cancelled liquor permits.
Mr. Jayakrishnan ordered the Ministers, who presented themselves in his court, to post ₹ 35,000 each as bail amount.
The CJM had in September turned down a plea by the government to withdraw the case against the leaders. He had ruled that “public interest” and “unity of the Legislature” were not sufficient grounds to arbitrarily set aside a case that involved the wanton destruction of public property and unruly behaviour,
The CJM also saw no merit in the State’s argument that any further prosecution of the accused would tantamount to double jeopardy. The Speaker had punished the legislators by expelling them from the House temporarily. Moreover, the protest was a political act to highlight corruption. The accused had no criminal intent; the government had argued.
The High Court had later upheld Mr. Jayakrishnan’s order. It was now hearing a plea by the government to quash the case.
The case has its provenance in a report by the then legislature secretary P.D. Sarangadharan. He said the actions of the LDF members had destroyed public property worth ₹ 2 lakh.
The police case was that the six LDF MLAs had destroyed microphones, computers, grappled with the watch and ward and toppled the chair of the Speaker in their effort to prevent K.M. Mani from addressing the House.