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Kerala HC sets aside Karat Razak's election in 2016 assembly polls

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Thursday set aside the election of Karat Razak from Koduvally Assembly constituency in Kozhikode district in 2016, for indulging in corrupt practices.

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Justice K Abraham Mathew passed the order on a petition by two voters of the constituency, challenging the election of Karat, who contested as Left Democratic Front (LDF) backed independent candidate during the 2016 Assembly polls.

The Court, however, granted a conditional stay to its order considering Karat's plea seeking time to file an appeal in the Supreme Court.

The stay has been granted for 30 days subject to condition that Karat shall not receive any emoluments as an MLA and he cannot participate in voting in the Assembly.

He has been allowed to attend the Assembly proceedings during this period.

When there was a prayer to declare his nearest rival M A Razak as the elected candidate, the Court declined to accept it.

In their petition, K P Mohammed and Moitheen Kunji of the constituency alleged that Karat and his agents had screened a video clip across the constituency during the poll campaign, aiming to tarnish the image of M A Razak, an UDF candidate.

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The Court found that evidence on record proved that the election was vitiated by corrupt practices.

There was ample evidence regarding the production and screening of the clip by Karat Razak, it said.

The expenditure on the production of the video was not included in the statement of accounts submitted by him with the EC officials, it added.

The judgement was pronounced after recording voluminous evidences and examination of witnesses.

Meanwhile, reacting to the verdict, Karat said future course of action would be decided after consulting with leaders of ruling LDF.

Hailing the judgement, the IUML said it was the "victory of truth."

In the 2016 Assembly election, Karat defeated his nearest rival M A Razak of the Muslim League by a margin of 573 votes.

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