The Supreme Court Tuesday allowed K M Shaji, Kerala MLA of Indian Union Muslim League who was disqualified by the High Court for making communal remarks during 2016 assembly polls, to take part in the house proceedings without voting rights and salary.
A bench headed by Justice A K Sikri admitted for hearing the appeal of the MLA challenging the Kerala High Court verdict.
"Admit. The appellant shall be allowed to participate in the proceedings in the Legislative Assembly and sign the Register but not allowed to vote as well as financial benefits," said the bench, which also comprised Justices Ashok Bhushan and M R Shah.
The top court considered the submission of senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, appearing for the IUML leader, and said that the plea of the lawmaker would be listed for final hearing in the last week of January.
Shaji, who had won the elections from Azhikode Assembly constituency in 2016, was disqualified for six year by the high court on November 9.
The high court had directed the Kerala Assembly Speaker and the Election Commission to take appropriate action in pursuance of its decision to disqualify the MLA from the membership of the assembly. The high court had given the judgement on a plea filed by LDF candidate M V Nikesh Kumar, who had unsuccessfully contested the election against Shaji.
IUML is a partner of the Congress-led opposition UDF in the state.
In his petition, Nikesh Kumar had alleged that Shaji secured a win by a margin of 2,287 votes using corrupt practices.
He had accused Shaji of having violated norms prescribed under various sections of the Representation of the People Act to win the elections.
Nikesh had alleged that an appeal was made to voters by Shaji, who belongs to the Muslim community, his agents and other persons to vote for the UDF candidate on grounds of his religion.
He had also charged that pamphlets were circulated in the constituency urging people not to vote for a candidate who is not a believer of the Islamic faith.
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