The Kerala High Court on Friday stayed for two weeks its earlier verdict disqualifying Indian Union Muslim League legislator KM Shaji for six years, Mathrubhumi reported. The court granted Shaji two weeks’ time to file an appeal in the Supreme Court.
The matter will next be heard on November 13.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader MV Nikesh Kumar, who had contested the 2016 Assembly election against Shaji, had accused him of stirring communal sentiments during the poll campaign. Nikesh alleged that Shaji and his supporters urged voters to elect him on the grounds of his religion. He also alleged that pamphlets were circulated in the constituency asking people not to vote for a candidate who does not believe in the Islamic faith, PTI reported.
After disqualifying Shaji for six years, the High Court had asked the Election Commission to conduct fresh polls in Azhikode constituency in Kannur district. The court observed that Shaji had violated the election code of conduct, but declined Nikesh’s request to be declared the winner from the constituency.
The court directed Shaji to pay Rs 50,000 as court expenses to Nikesh.