The Kerala High Court recently in an interim order passed stayed the Criminal trial, for the offence under Section 153 of the Indian Penal Code, against the four personal assistants of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for allegedly causing damage to the photograph of Mahatma Gandhi.

The Single Judge Bench of Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan V was dealing with an application seeking a stay on all proceedings before the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kalpetta against the Petitioners for the offences arising out of the FIR registered with the Kalpetta Police Station. It was submitted by the Petitioners that as a counterblast to the crime registered against certain named individuals owing allegiance to a particular students body for trespassing into the office of a Member of Parliament, for attacking the personnel there and committing mischief, the present impugned case was registered against the staff members of Rahul Gandhi.

Appearing for the Petitioners, Advocate T. Asif Ali submitted that a week later of the FIR against the followers of the students body, the Kalpetta police station on July 4, 2022, registered an offence under Section 153 of the IPC against unnamed persons for causing damage to the photograph of Mahatma Gandhi kept inside the office of Rahul Gandhi and that later Personal Assistants of the Rahul Gandhi were added as accused.

The High Court while noting the submissions, that none of the witnesses have attributed any role to the petitioners, directed for the stay of trial. "Having considered the submissions, there will be an interim order, as prayed for, for a period of two months", directed the High Court.

In June last year, the student wing of the CPI(M) had allegedly vandalised the office during a protest and later a case was registered on the basis of a complaint filed by a lawyer claiming that the photograph of Mahatma Gandhi was damaged by unnamed persons. The ruling CPI(M) in Kerala had alleged that it was Rahul Gandhi's personal staff who had damaged Mahatma Gandhi's photo to put blame on SFI activists.

The Court has also issued notice to the complainant, Adv. Kishor Lal., for the case registered in 2022.

Cause Title: Ratheesh Kumar. K.R. & Ors. v. State Of Kerala & Ors.

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