Want debate on political parties rights: Congress
Thiruvananthapuram, March 3 (IANS) V.M. Sudheeran, the head of the Congress' Kerala unit, on Tuesday called for a debate on the rights and responsibilities of political parties vis-a-vis the judiciary.
A division bench of the Kerala High Court, hearing a petition on Monday against Sudheeran's circular on bar licences, said that anybody who was well-informed about the law would not have issued such a circular. "The issue is not just pertaining to Congress alone, this is for all political parties.
Jurists, legal experts, politicians and civil societies should start a debate on rights and responsibilities of political parties," Sudheeran told reporters here. Sudheeran issued a circular in 2014 asking the Congress-led local bodies not to give no-objection certificates (NOCs) for bar licences.
"The law does not recognise such extra-constitutional intervention in the exercise of statutory discretion. Such interference amounts to dictation from political superiors and has been condemned by the court on more than one occasion," said the court.
The bench, comprising Justice Antony Dominic and Justice Alexander Thomas made the remark while disposing a petition filed by Kochi's KGA Hotels and Resorts Pvt. Ltd. in Kochi. It challenged the decision of Congress-ruled Maradu Municipality near Kochi that refused an NOC to serve liquor, based on the circular. The bench directed authorities to grant the license.
Sudheeran said he has always respected and regarded the judiciary and the court had taken its decision without hearing him. "I believe that a political party has rights and responsibilities. What I did through the circular was a social responsibility. I will continue to issue circulars to party leaders and workers on social issues," he said.