The State CPI(M) has decided to unleash a campaign against the conviction of party leader M.V. Jayarajan for his remarks about the judiciary and judges beginning with a silent protest demonstration in front of the Kerala High Court on November 14.
The party has also decided to continue with wayside meetings disregarding the court ban and is already giving finishing touches to its legal strategy to counter the position taken by the Division Bench of the High Court in Mr. Jayarajan's case. The protest demonstration in front of the High Court would be silent, probably except for the inaugural address. Party workers would join the demonstration with placards, party sources said here on Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters after calling on Mr. Jayarajan in his cell at the Central Prison here along with CPI(M) deputy legislature party leader and Polit Bureau member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, CPI(M) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said the High Court's decision to imprison Mr. Jayarajan would in no way dampen the struggle against the ban on wayside meetings.
The party would go ahead with the campaign beginning with the protest demonstration in front of the High Court. The party was also exploring legal avenues to challenge Mr. Jayarajan's conviction, Mr. Vijayan said.
The CPI(M) leader said the fact that the court had exceeded its limits was clear from its original sentence of six months' rigorous imprisonment when the maximum punishment that could be awarded in such a case was only six months' simple imprisonment. The court had also described Mr. Jayarajan as a pest,' which spoke of a trend which was impermissible in a democracy. All democratic institutions must remember that the people were supreme, he said.
Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan, who also called on Mr. Jayarajan later in the day, said the court's refusal to entertain Mr. Jayarajan's plea for suspension of his sentence to enable him to go in appeal was a clear breach of the principles of natural justice. Normally, courts gave all persons convicted thus the time to go in appeal before they were arrested. The court's stand in Mr. Jayarajan's case was undemocratic and did not behove the stature of the judiciary, Mr. Achuthanandan said and hoped that the appeal court would take a serious view of the matter.