Thiruvananthapuram: Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) MLA KM Shaji had moved the Supreme Court questioning his disqualification by the Kerala high court for violating election code of conduct by making communal overtures during his election campaign. The Supreme Court on Thursday said that the MLA is allowed to participate in the Assembly procedures. 

The Indian Union Muslim League is a part of Congress-led United Democratic Front, which is in opposition after its defeat in the 2016 Assembly elections. The IUML is the second biggest constituent of the UDF.

The remark was made by the bench chaired by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. Shaji had sought an interim ex parte stay of the operation of the November 9 order of the high court unseating him and disqualifying him from contesting election for the next six years.

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 KM Shaji was accused of winning Assembly polls in Kerala by a margin of 2,287 votes in 2016, by using corrupt practices. MV Nikesh Kumar, the candidate of Left Democratic Front (LDF) had earlier filed a case against Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) MLA KM Shaji from Azhikode for using religion to win the Kerala Assembly elections in 2016. 

The Kerala high court under the jurisdiction of Justice PD Rajan disqualified KM Shaji for six years. The Justice also requested the Kerala Assembly speaker and the Election Commission to take appropriate action.

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The high court, while unseating Shaji for corrupt practices in breach of the election code of conduct, had under the Representation of the People Act, disqualified Shaji from contesting election for six years from the date of judgment.

Shaji had won the Azhikode constituency in Kannur district in a bitterly-fought battle by a margin of 2,462 votes. He was representing the Azhikode constituency in the earlier House as well.

Contending that the high court had committed a grave error, Shaji has said, "Section 98 and Section 99 of the RP Act read with Section 8A make it amply clear that the high court does not have the requisite power to disqualify him for six years."

Shaji contended that under Section 8A of the RP Act "it is the President of India, who is the competent authority to determine the question as to whether the petitioner is to be disqualified".