SC stays Kerala HC order nullifying MP`s election

The Supreme Court today stayed the Kerala HC judgement which had declared void the election of Congress MP Kodukunnil Suresh from Kerala`s Mavelikara (Reserved) Lok Sabha constituency.

Last Updated: Aug 12, 2010, 19:58 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today stayed
the Kerala High Court judgement which had declared void the
election of Congress MP Kodukunnil Suresh from Kerala`s
Mavelikara (Reserved) Lok Sabha constituency on the charge of
holding a false caste certificate.

A Bench of Justices Aftab Alam and A K Patnaik, while
staying the HC order, posted the matter for final disposal on
September 16.

It also issued notices to CPI candidate A S Anil Kumar
and two other voters N S Saji Kumar and Padmakaran on whose
petition the election was nullified.

The apex court passed the order on an appeal filed by
Suresh challenging the High Court order.

The Kerala High Court had on July 26 declared Suresh`s
election void after holding that he was not entitled to claim
the benefits and privileges available to the members of the
Scheduled Caste.

Allowing the election petition of defeated candidate Anil
Kumar and two others, Justice M Shasdhidharan Nambiar of the
High Court had found that Suresh was not a member of
`Cheramar`community and thereby he was not not a Scheduled
Caste.

The court found that Suresh had produced contradictory
caste certificates issued by tehsildars of Kottarakara and
Nedumangad.

In the 194-page judgement, the court criticised the
Returning officer for accepting the nomination of Suresh
without ascertaining his caste status.

Suresh, who had first entered the Lok Sabha in 1989 from
Adoor and then thrice from the same constituency in 1991, 1996
and 1998, was declared elected from Mavelikkara with a
majority of 48,046 votes in 2009 elections.

Adoor ceased to be a Lok Sabha constituency after the
delimitation.

Challenging the election, the petitioners had approached the court complaining that Suresh was not entitled to the
benefit of reservation as he does not belong to Scheduled
Caste.

The court, after evaluating the evidence of various
witnesses, said the evidence do not suggest that Suresh
belongs to SC community.

"Even if various certificates produced by Kodikunnil
are accepted, it would not prove that Suresh belongs to
Scheduled Caste," it had observed.

Referring to a certificate dated Oct 25, 1979 that
Suresh had embraced Hinduism as per Sudhi certificate by
Kerala Hindu Mission and his name in the SSLC book is Manianna
J and he was a `Cheramar Christian", the court said it cannot
be accepted.

It said evidence has been established that the Mission
President had been issuing certificates after receiving
donations and fees.

PTI