Opposition UDF legislators protested over the Speaker’s denial of permission to seek leave for an adjournment motion on the criminal conspiracy charges against P. Jayarajan and T. V. Rajesh in the chargesheet filed by the CBI

The Kerala Legislative Assembly was adjourned sine die on Tuesday following protests from the Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) legislators over the Speaker’s denial of permission to seek leave for an adjournment motion on the criminal conspiracy charges against CPI(M) Kannur district secretary P. Jayarajan and T. V. Rajesh, MLA, in the chargesheet filed by the CBI in the Abdul Shukkoor murder case.

On the last day of the 10-day 14th session of the Assembly, the Opposition got agitated after the Speaker P. Sreeramakrishnan informed the House during the beginning of zero hour that he is denying permission to the notice given under Rule 50 by Congress legislator Sunny Joseph and others. “The government is not involved in any way in this case. The case is pending in the court.

“The incident is not recent and the murder had taken place in 2012. The notice has also no reference on the government and filing chargesheet is not an urgent matter to be taken up in the House through adjournment motion”, he said.

Objecting to the Speaker’s ruling, the Leader of Opposition, Ramesh Chennithala, pointed out half a dozen similar instances that were raised in the House under Rule 50 and sought the Chair’s permission. “We have the right to take up the case. Where else can we take it up?” he asked.

As the Speaker stood by his decision, the UDF legislators were on their feet and headed to the front benches shouting slogans. Mr. Chennithala read out the notice given under Rule 50 and pointed out that Mr. Rajesh has been charged with criminal conspiracy by the CBI and that the House should discuss it. The Speaker’s suggestion that he will give opportunity to raise the issue through Submission did not pacify the Opposition.

Led by Congress legislators Anwar Sadath and Anil Akkara, the UDF MLA’s walked to the well of the House and shouted slogans against the Speaker. The House also witnessed noisy scenes as the LDF legislators A.N. Shamseer, M. Swaraj and others also rushed to the front row of the treasury benches and questioned the Opposition protest.

The Speaker’s appeal and warning to the Opposition to return to their seats and cooperate with the proceedings fell in deaf ears. As the protest continued, the Speaker took up the listed business for the day. The replies to the 30 Submissions and reports were tabled in the House by the Chairpersons of the Assembly Committees and the Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan.

Amidst the commotion and Speaker rushing through the listed business, the Opposition walked out of the House and commenced protests in front of the main door of the House.

Later, the House passed the Kerala Finance Bill, 2019 and the Kerala Cooperative Societies Amendment Bill 2019 as reported by the Subject Committee without any discussion. The House also passed Kerala Appropriation (Vote on Account) Bill 2019 before adjourning sine die.

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