The Kerala High Court has granted an interim stay on the order setting aside and cancelling the election of the CPI(M) MLA A. Raja from Devikulam Assembly seat in the district of Idukki.

The Court declared his election void after it found based on evidence that A Raja was actually professing Christianity at the time when he had submitted his nomination and had converted to Christianity long before its submission.

A Single Bench of Justice P. Somarajan said, “As an abundant caution, it deems fit to grant stay of operation of the judgment of this Court for a period of ten days from today or till the date of filing of the appeal before the Apex Court, whichever comes first. Hence, ordered accordingly, subject to the condition that though the respondent can participate in the State Assembly, he will not get any right of voting or any remuneration or emoluments as that of a Member of Legislative Assembly for the said period.”

The Bench was dealing with a matter in which a plea was filed by the Congress party leader D. Kumar who was the runner-up in the Assembly elections of 2021 who alleged that A. Raja was not qualified to contest the Devikulam seat reserved for the Scheduled Caste (SC) community.

Advocate N. Raghuraj appeared for the petitioner while Advocate M.J. Sajitha appeared for the respondent.

In this case, A. Raja prayed for the stay of the operation of the judgment in the Election petition for a period of 30 days from the date of judgment. He contended that he belonged to the Hindy Parayan community of the Kerala State and that the caste certificate issued by the Tehsildar proved the same.

The High Court after hearing both parties noted, “It is an application under Section 116 B of the Representation of People Act, 1951 to stay the operation of the judgment of this Court so as to enable the petitioner/respondent to prefer an appeal before the Apex Court. The judgment was pronounced yesterday and uploaded.”

The Court said that the copy of its order shall be sent to the Election Commission of India and the Speaker/Chairman of the Kerala State Legislative Assembly.

Accordingly, the Court granted an interim stay.

Cause Title- A. Raja v. D. Kumar

Click here to read/download the Order