In a rare judgement, the Kerala High Court has disqualified an MLA from Indian Union Muslim League, KM Shaji, for using religion win assembly polls in 2016. The High Court directed the Kerala Assembly Speaker and the Election Commission to take appropriate action.
Shahji had won from Kerala’s Azhikode constituency as an IUML candidate. However, Left Democratic Front candidate MV Nikesh Kumar had moved the court claiming that Shaji used religion to secure his victory. He had won the election by over 2,000 votes.
While IUML is a part of the Congress-led United Democratic Front, the petitioner’s party leads the ruling LDF, which won a landslide in 2016, making Pinarayi Vijayan as the new chief minister.
A report by PTI said that Justice PD Rajan disqualified KM Shaji for six years. The court also directed Shaji to pay Rs 50,000 as court fees to Kumar.
Kumar had alleged that Shaji of having violated norms prescribed under various sections of the Representation of the People Act to win the elections. Among other allegations, Kumar had also accused Shaji and his agents to woo Muslim voters to vote for him because of his Muslim background.
Shaji’s party, the IUML said that it will take a decision on filing an appeal after getting the judgement copy.