Lok Ayukta cannot probe into internal affairs of political parties: Kerala HC

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Kerala High Court | Photo: Mathrubhumi archives

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Thursday ruled that Lok Ayukta has no power to probe into the internal affairs of the political parties. The bench chaired by the chief justice was adjudicating upon a plea filed by CPI veteran Pannyan Raveendran.

A person had approached Lok Ayukta against the candidature of CPI’s Dr Bennet Abraham in the Thiruvananthapuram constituency in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The petitioner alleged that it was offered as a payment seat and Lok Ayukta ordered a probe. Lok Ayukta found that misuse of authority and malpractices happened in the determination of the candidate. The then-state secretary of CPI Pannyan Raveendran had filed a review petition, but Lok Ayukta did not entertain it.

Later, Raveendran approached Kerala High Court over the matter. The new development comes in this context. The court held that determining the candidates for fielding in elections is an internal matter of political parties. Lok Ayukta has no power to probe into the internal affairs of the political parties, it noted.

Lok Ayukta, a quasi-judicial body, acts as an ombudsman investigating allegations of malpractices and corruption against public servants. As per Section 7 (1) of the act, even political party leaders in state-level roles come under the quasi-judicial body’s ambit.

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