Satheesan ridicules govt’s change of stance on Mani

No immunity from prosecution for criminal acts in Assembly, says Leader of Opposition

Leader of Opposition V.D. Satheesan on Thursday said that the State government’s change of stance in the Supreme Court on former Kerala Congress leader K.M. Mani had come in the wake of Jose K. Mani joining the LDF.

The government on Thursday stated in the apex court that Mr. Mani was not corrupt and that the LDF members were protesting in the Assembly against the government’s presentation of the budget in 2015.

Referring to the statement of CPI(M) leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Mr. Satheesan said the LDF had said then that the budget should not be presented by K.M. Mani, and if necessary, it should be presented by then Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. Mr. Satheesan said the government was trying to save prominent CPI(M) leaders involved in the ruckus and vandalism in the Assembly in 2015.

He said that MLAs had the privilege of immunity from prosecution in their conduct in the Assembly. However, any crime inside the House could not be considered a privilege. The Supreme Court had reiterated the same issue, he said.

Lockdown criticised

Mr. Satheesan said that the lockdown implemented by the government was unscientific. The government was refusing to accept the suggestions put forward by experts, including the Indian Medical Association.

Unnecessary restrictions and lockdowns were being implemented across the State and they were creating a lot of problems for the people.

Lockdown measures had not helped in controlling crowd, and traders were facing huge problems.

The government should immediately stop institutions from going ahead with debt recovery and people should be given time to pay the money back. Relaxation on taxes should be given to public vehicle operators.

He said that a COVID prevention committee including experts in various fields should be formed to study and understand the impact of the pandemic.

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