Kochi: A division bench of the Kerala High Court on Thursday dismissed a plea that sought disqualification of Saji Cherian, an MLA belonging to the ruling CPI(M), over his remarks allegedly disrespecting the Constitution of India, when taking part in a party public meeting a few months back.
Following a huge public outcry and a media trial, Cherian quit as Minister a few days after the speech became public.
This relief came for Cherian a few days after the local police which probed the case decided to close the case as ‘it did not have the merit’.
With these two reliefs in the bag, it is most likely that Cherian might return to the Pinarayi Vijayan cabinet.
Vijayan has a soft corner for Cherian for various reasons, and when he quit as the minister, his portfolios was divided between three Minister’s and it continues to be so. With fresh relief coming, it might not be long before Cherian returns to the cabinet.
While in the cabinet, he handled the portfolios of Fisheries, Culture and Cinema.
The bench had previously opined that the provisions of Article 173(a), which deals with qualifications for MLAs, may not be applicable since Cherian has already been elected as a member of the state Legislature.
However, it had said that it needed to look into whether the speech made by Cherian would attract disqualification under Article 188 (oath of affirmation by MLA).
Now all eyes are on Vijayan and how he decides to move forward on bringing Cherian back to the cabinet.