The Kerala High Court has dismissed the plea seeking an order declaring that MLA Saji Cheriyan is not entitled to hold the office of the post of Member of the Kerala Legislative Assembly.

The petitioner had stated that Saji Cheriyan, MLA representing Chengannur Constituency, while being a Minister in the state, had made disparaging remarks against the Constitution of India in a political meeting.

The Member of the Legislative Assembly belonging to the CPI(M) had said "The Constitution was prepared by the British and the Indians wrote it down. As a result of its implementation in the Country over the past 75 years, no matter who says otherwise, I will say that the Constitution is most suited for exploitation".

The Minister had to resign after an FIR was registered for his remarks.

The Bench of Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P.Chaly while dismissing the petition observed thus "…we do not think that the petitioners have made a case for interference under Article 226 of the Constitution."

The Court observed that it is not for the Court to go to the contentions, decipher the truth of it, and grant the reliefs sought by the petitioners under Article 226 of the Constitution.

The case projected by the petitioners is that the problem arising from the speech so made, does not end with the Minister's resignation, but that MLA Saji Cheriyan should resign from the post of Member of Legislative Assembly since he has violated the Oath while taking pledge of faith over the Constitution to become an MLA.

Advocates P.K. Pretheep Kumar and Sonnymon K. Mathew appeared for the petitioner whereas Advocate General K. Gopalakrishna Kurup appeared for the State and DSG Manu S. appeared for the Union of India. Standing Counsel Deepu Lal Mohan appeared for the Election Commission of India.

The Court observed that "Having gone through Sections 8, 8A, 9, 9A, 10, and 10A of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951, dealing with disqualifications, we could not locate any law under the said provisions to attribute disqualification against the M.L.A., by invoking the powers conferred under Article 226 of the Constitution."

The Court further noted that "Whether the 1st respondent has violated the Oath of office, on the basis of the subject matter, is a matter which could be identified or deciphered only by a fact finding body, taking into account the attendant circumstances."

Considering the facts and circumstances, the provisions of the Constitution and the laws, and the provisions of Representation of People Act, 1951, the Court held that the petitioners had not made a case for interference under Article 226 of the Constitution.

Accordingly, the petition was dismissed.

Cause Title- Biju P. Cheruman v. Election Commission of India & Ors. & Vayalar Rajeevan v. Saji Cheriyan & Ors.

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