SC comes down heavily on Kerala Government in assembly ruckus case

The Supreme Court on Thursday said that Kerala government’s decision to drop criminal proceedings against a group of members MLAs, who threw furniture and destroyed public property during a House proceeding in March 2015, was “incomprehensible”.

The Supreme Court observed that the accused MLAs against a March 12 order by the Kerala high court refusing to drop charges against the legislators. The bench reserved orders after hearing all sides of the separate appeals filed by the Kerala government. Taking this to be a serious issue where a state government was seen defending the actions by the MLAs accused of criminal trespass, mischief, and destruction of public property, a bench of justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah said, “We have to consider if the withdrawal of prosecution request (filed by the public prosecutor) was in the interest of public interest where MLAs have thrown furniture and desecrated the sanctum sanctorum of the House.” Expressing its strong reservation on the conduct of the MLAs, who threw microphones, broke furniture and disrupted presentation of the budget, the bench remarked, “This is not their personal property. It is public property, and they are custodians of it in the public trust. It is incomprehensible what is the public interest being pleaded.” The incident in question took place on March 13, 2015.

Senior Advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the State Government, started the arguments by saying that the incident happened when then government in 2015 was presenting the budget. There were allegations of corruption against the then government, against which the opposition was protesting. The presentation of budget happened in a charged atmosphere.