Speaker terms unruly incidents in Kerala assembly criminal act

Speaker N Sakthan has termed opposition Left Democratic Front’s unruly behaviour in the house a criminal act.

By T K Devasia

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Published: Mon 16 Mar 2015, 11:21 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 9:09 PM

Trivandrum - Amid the debate over Governor Justice P Sathasivam’s intervention in the showdown between the opposition and the ruling front during the presentation of the budget in the Kerala Assembly on Friday, Speaker N Sakthan has termed opposition Left Democratic Front’s unruly behaviour in the house a criminal act.

Speaking to reporters after visiting assembly chief marshal’s house that came under attack in the aftermath of the unprecedented violence in the assembly, he said that the opposition legislators had vandalised the speaker’s dais and gone to the seats of the ruling front MLAs and attacked without any provocation.

He said that the attack on the house of chief marshal Alwin Antony, who tried to control the situation in the house, was the continuation of the violence in the assembly. Sakthan said that the watch and ward had not attacked any MLA.

The speaker has warned stern action against the legislators responsible for the violent incidents. The police have already filed a first information report against an unspecified number of MLAs in connection with the ransacking of the speaker’s dais under non-bailable sections of the act covering the destruction of public property.

A group of MLAs, led by P Sivankutty of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), had prevented the speaker from entering his chamber by storming his dais, topping his chair and damaging the computer, microphone and other equipment on the speaker’s table.

The legislature secretary has pegged damage caused to properties at Rs500,000.

Besides, several other opposition MLAs have also been accused of assaulting ruling United Democratic Front MLAs and watch ward. Congress MLA K Sivadasan Nair has complained that Jameela Prakasaham, a woman legislator belonging to the LDF, had bitten him on his shoulders.  

The speaker had earlier asked the police not to pursue the complaint filed by the secretary but gave direction to the police to go ahead with the case following the direction given by the governor to the government to take appropriate action against those responsible for the violent incidents.

In a rare intervention in the goings on in the assembly, the governor expressed deep concern over the incidents and warned that it was similar to a situation warranting a report under Article 356 of the Constitution to the president. Such a report is usually made when there is a constitutional breakdown and leads to President’s Rule.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and other ministers said that the governor’s warning was not against the government. He said that there was no constitutional breakdown in the state and the government will not allow such a situation to arise.

However, former CPM secretary and politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan said that the governor’s observation was relevant. Party secretary Koidyeri Balakrishnan said that the government had lost its right to continue in power in the wake of the governor’s intervention.

He said that opposition would not recognise K M Mani, who is facing a vigilance case in the bar bribery case, as finance minister and added that they would block him on the street. He said that the government was solely responsible for the incidents in the assembly.  

Meanwhile, constitutional experts have termed the governor’s intervention as a warning to both sides to behave. -news@khaleejtimes.com

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