Kerala High Court disqualifies IUML MLA KM Shaji for using religion to win 2016 Assembly polls

The Kerala High Court, this morning, disqualified the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) Member of Legislative Assembly, KM Shaji  for six years, on a plea claiming that he used religion to win the 2016 Assembly polls. Shaji had won from the Azhikode Assembly constituency.

Justice PD Rajan directed the Speaker of the Kerala Assembly, as well as the Election Commission to take requisite action. What is more, the HC also delivered judgement on a plea filed by the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidate MV Nikesh Kumar, who contested against Shaji at Azhikode. The Muslim League is the alliance partner of the Congress-led opposition United Democratic Alliance in Kerala.

Kumar, in his plea, complained that Shaji won by 2,287 votes by employing corrupt practices. Furthermore, the LDF candidate also accused Shaji of violating norms prescribed under various sections of the Representation of the People Act and managed to win the polls.

Kumar further accused Shaji of wooring the voters who belonged to the Muslim community, his agents and other persons to vote for the UDF candidate on grounds of his religion. “Even pamphlets were circulated in the constituency asking the voters not to cast their votes for a candidate who is not a believer of the Islamic faith”, Kumar alleged.

Reacting to the HC verdict, the IUML said it would take a decision on filing an appeal after obtaining the judgement copy.