SC stays judgement on the election of PC Thomas
New Delhi, Nov 24 (UNI) The Supreme Court today stayed till further orders the judgement of the Kerala High Court setting aside the election of P C Thomas, former Minister of State for Law and Justice in the previous NDA Government from Muvattupuzha parliamentary constituency in Kerala.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal, Justices C K Thakker and R V Raveendran directed that Mr Thomas be permitted to participate in the Lok Sabha proceedings, but without the privilege of voting or drawing emoluments.
The court asked the counsel for the respondents, "give us one example during the last over 50 years where in an election petition, a defeated candidate has been declared elected by the court." The High Court had set aside the election of Mr Thomas after he was accused of using the photographs of Pope John Paul during the elections and exhorting voters to support him on a religious basis.
The constituency comprises of a 75 per cent Catholic population.
The local clergy had also allegedly asked voters to support Thomas as he was a Christian.
Senior counsel S F Nariman, appearing for the appellant, contended before the court that he was not a party to the distribution of pamphlets carrying his photograph with Pope John Paul nor did he permit his supporters or anyone else to distribute such pamphlets.
He claimed the High Court's judgement was based on wrong conclusions.
He also alleged that the direction of the High Court to declare defeated CPM candidate P M Ismail as elected was unprecendented and unheard of unless and until there were only two candidates in the fray.
It may be noted here that the High Court had granted one months time to Mr Thomas to enable him to file an appeal in the Supreme Court.
The Kerala High Court judgement came on October 31.
UNI AKS/SC PB VV1237