The Kerala High Court on Tuesday refused to stop the protest march organized by Left parties to the Raj Bhavan in Thiruvananthapuram but directed the Chief Secretary to consider the representation filed by BJP state chief K Surendran against the alleged participation of government employees in the agitation. A bench comprising Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly asked the counsel representing the BJP chief how one could identify government employees from a protest march.
"Where is the government order asking the employees to take part in the march? How can we identify government employees from the protestors...How can we ask anyone not to hold a protest march?," the court asked. Meanwhile, Surendran's counsel said the only opposition was against the participation of government employees in the march. However, the court directed to consider the representation submitted by Surendran and take a decision accordingly. Surendran had on Monday moved the Kerala High Court saying the march was to mount pressure on Governor Arif Mohammad Khan to give his assent for proposals on laws.
He alleged that government servants were being compelled to take part in the protest. "...It is reliably learned that efforts are going on to compel the government servants to participate in the protest march...Further they cannot take part in a politically motivated protest against the executive head of the state who is the highest constitutional functionary in the state," Surendran said in his plea filed before the high court. Surendran sought to direct the Kerala government to prevent the participation of government servants in the agitation against the Governor.
The state cabinet has recently sent an ordinance for the assent of Khan to remove him from the post of Chancellor of universities in Kerala. The Left parties on Tuesday led a massive protest march to Raj Bhavan over his alleged interference in the higher education sector of Kerala. The Governor and the Left-ruled state government have been at loggerheads over the appointment of vice-chancellors to various universities.