Kochi | The Kerala High Court on Monday refused to stay the results of a students' union election at a government-aided college in Thrissur where a nominee of the Students' Federation of India (SFI) was declared chairman after votes were recounted at midnight.
Justice T R Ravi refused to grant any interim order and said the Chairman of the Sree Kerala Varma College, who is from the students' wing of the ruling CPI(M), can continue subject to the result of the writ petition filed by the Kerala Students' Union (KSU), the students' wing of the opposition Congress party.
The High Court, however, directed the returning officer to produce the election related documents before it.
The Sree Kerala Varma College in Thrissur had witnessed dramatic scenes on November 1 as the KSU alleged sabotage by the Left students' organisation during the recounting of votes to ensure the victory of its chairman candidate in the election.
KSU claimed that its chairman candidate had won the key post by one vote against the SFI nominee.
KSU said its candidate, Sreekuttan Sivadasan, a blind student, had ended the four-decade-long reign of SFI in the college by defeating its candidate, Anirudhan, in a neck-and-neck race.
Jubilant KSU workers celebrated Sivadasan's victory by raising slogans and distributing sweets in the college, which is managed by the Cochin Devaswom Board.
Stung by the unexpected turn of events, the SFI activists demanded a recount of votes, which was finally agreed upon by the management.
Though a recount of votes was held in the evening, it was stopped midway following the protest by KSU activists.
They alleged that the returning officer was the leader of a pro-Left union.
When the result of the recounting was announced at midnight, Anirudhan was declared the winner by a margin of 11 votes Meanwhile, a protest march today organised in Thiruvananthapuram by the KSU turned violent, and the police resorted to lathi charge injuring student activists including women.
Following the lathi charge, KSU announced a strike on Tuesday in colleges across the state.
The KSU protesters also blocked the vehicle of state Higher Education MInister R Bindu as part of their agitation.
The Congress students' organisation had moved the high court seeking a re-election to the post of Chairman of the college union.
The petition of the KSU also sought a thorough investigation into the "malpractice, tampering and sabotaging" of the election process.
The plea alleged that the recounting of the election results was conducted even after multiple objections from the Principal, the college management as well as the student party faction.
Meanwhile, KSU state president Aloshious Xavier, who was on an indefinite hunger strike in front of the Corporation Office at Thrissur, withdrew from the protest after the interference of the high court.