SC declines early hearing on Kerala MLA's plea

In the petition, Shaji, who was disqualified as MLA of Azhikode, had sought a stay on the high court verdict. (Image: Facebook)

The Supreme Court on Thursday declined urgent hearing on a plea by Indian Union Muslim League legislator K M Shaji, challenging his disqualification by the Kerala High Court on the ground that he made communal remarks in the run-up to the assembly polls in the state in 2016.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the matter will come up for hearing in regular course.

In the petition, Shaji, who was disqualified as MLA of Azhikode, had sought a stay on the high court verdict.

"Do you want to continue as an MLA by virtue of a stay order (of this court)," asked the bench, also comprising justices K M Joseph and M R Shah.

The high court on November 9 disqualified Shaji for six years and directed the Kerala Assembly speaker and the Election Commission to take appropriate action.

The high court had delivered the judgement on a plea filed by LDF candidate M V Nikesh Kumar, who contested the election against Shaji.

The IUML is a partner of the opposition United Democratic Front that is led by the Congress party 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 and 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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SC declines early hearing on Kerala MLA's plea

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