Thiruvananthapuram : The question raised by Supreme Court in its verdict was - does the state government possess right to withdraw the Legislative Assembly protest case of 2015, said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday. A decision to do away with a case that is based on past events especially when the socio-political atmosphere is no longer relevant, is not unlawful. The High Court in its ruling earlier had clarified that the Public Prosecutor’s filing of such petition is neither dubious nor extraneous. The government fully acknowledges the Supreme Court verdict and shall pursue future course of action in accordance with it, said CM in response to an adjournment motion moved by PT Thomas MLA.
Based on protests raised inside the Legislative Assembly on March 13 of 2015, the Museum police registered a case numbered 236/2015 on charges of vandalism under IPC section 447, 427 and 34. A request in the connection with the case was received on 19.014.2017 following which the government proceeded to examine facts behind the case. After this on 09.02.018, the government informed the District Collector that it was willing to have the case repealed. The Public Prosecutor then moved the Court seeking to withdraw the case under section 321 of Criminal Procedure Act. The trial court however rejected the plea and an appeal was filed with the High Court where the Bench repeated the disagreement to quash case but observed that the prosecutor’s move was not out of the way.
The Supreme Court did not base its verdict on trial court proceedings and rather hinged on legal problems attached to withdrawal of case. In fact, there exist several Supreme Court verdicts clarifying that rulings relating to case withdrawals are not connected to trial court proceedings The public prosecutor has full rights to plea for case withdrawal.
The Supreme Court has earlier proclaimed that when it lends approval on such cases, it is only playing role of an overseer. In an important ruling on a petition opposing withdrawal of case against George Fernandes (Rajendrakumar Jain Vs State through Special Police Establishment and others - 1980 AIR 1510), the Supreme Court stated the following important facts
• A Public Prosecutor is an officer of the Court.
• The court performs a supervisory function in granting its consent to the withdrawal
• The Court’s duty is not to reappreciate the grounds which led the Public Prosecutor to request withdrawal from the prosecution but to consider whether the Public Prosecutor applied his mind as a free agent, uninfluenced by irrelevant and extraneous considerations.
The above observations clarify that government action did not breach law in any manner. Thus it is not correct to dub governmental move as out-of-ordinary or unlawful, said CM.