SC upholds election of Congress MP Kodikunnil Suresh

In a relief for Congress MP and AICC Secretary Kodikunnil Suresh, the Supreme Court on Thursday set aside the Kerala HC order of quashing his election on the ground that he was not entitled to contest from a reserved constituency.

New Delhi: In a relief for Congress MP
and AICC Secretary Kodikunnil Suresh, the Supreme Court on Thursday
set aside the Kerala HC order of quashing his election
on the ground that he was not entitled to contest from a
reserved constituency.

Putting an end to the controversy arising out of his
conflicting caste status, a bench of justices Altamas Kabir
and A K Patnaik said that the MP belons to Scheduled Caste and
his election was valid.
"We set aside the impugned order of the High Court and
hold that the appellant(Kodikunnil) was qualified to be chosen
to fill the seat in the House of People from Mavelikkara
Parliamentary Constituency reserved for the Scheduled Castes,"
the bench said.

The High Court had in July last year declared the
election of Kodikunnil Suresh from Mavelikara reserved
parliamentary constituency as void after holding that he did
not belong to the Scheduled Caste community.

The court had passed the order while allowing the
election petition filed by defeated candidate R S Anil of CPI.

The MP had then approached the apex court challenging the
High Court order.

The apex court, after hearing all the parties, came to
the conclusion that he belongs to Scheduled Caste and his
election is valid.
"The appeals are allowed and the election petitions of
the respondents are dismissed," the bench said adding "the
substance of this decision will be intimated to the Election
Commission and the Speaker of the House of the People".

The controversy on his caste status arose as as per
school records, he is a converted Christian and was not
entitled to the benefit of being a scheduled caste member.

But he said it was a mistake on the part of the school
authority and his parents.

Suresh said his school-leaving certificate had mentioned
that his caste was SC and religion Christianity, which may
have been a mistake committed by his parents.

This was the fifth time he was elected to the Lok Sabha.
Suresh was first elected in 1989, then in 1991, 1996 and 1999
from Adoor constituency. He was defeated in 1998 and 2004
elections.

PTI

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