Plea in SC against physical swearing-in ceremony of new CPI(M)-led LDF govt in Kerala

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New Delhi, May 18 (PTI) A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court against the scheduled May 20 physical swearing-in ceremony of the new CPI(M)-led LDF government in Kerala headed by Pinarayi Vijayan. The petition by activist K M Shahjahan has sought directions to the Kerala government to adhere to the COVID-19 protocol and ban all public gatherings.

The plea stated that reckless act of conducting the public swearing-in ceremony by the Government of Kerala in violation of the very same law and protocols, is a clear abuse of power and would only result in further spread of the dreaded disease, putting the life of the people in jeopardy.

“The interference of this Court is highly necessary as there are none to question the absolute abuse of power by the Government of Kerala and for directing the Chief Secretary to restrict the number of participants in the swearing-in ceremony scheduled to be held on May 20, 2021 at 75, which is maximum that can be permitted for a gathering', the plea said.

The plea has also sought directions to the Centre and the state governments to issue a uniform Standard Operating Procedure strictly banning any kind of public gathering with more than fifty people. The ceremony, scheduled at 3.30 PM on May 20, would be held by adhering to COVID-19 protocol, Vijayan had earlier told reporters. Governor Arif Mohammad Khan would administer the oath of office to 21 Ministers, including the Chief Minister.

The function would be held in the presence of 500 invited guests at the stadium, which has the capacity to hold 50,000 people, Vijayan had said. Besides 140 newly elected MLAs, 29 members of Parliament from the State and representatives of the judiciary and the media would be invited for the function, he said. In an order, the government had said the entry to the venue would be regulated through entry pass and entire seating arrangements, including on stage, would be made as per existing COVID-19 protocol. Entry would be limited only to people having Covid- negative results obtained within 48 hours or on production of final certificate of COVID vaccination, the order said. PTI PKS RKS RKS