Ex-Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal moves SC seeking withdrawal of disqualification, hearing tomorrow

NCP leader Mohammed Faizal has moved the Supreme Court stating that even though his conviction has been stayed by the Kerala High Court, his disqualification as a Lok Sabha MP has not been revoked.

Ex-Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal moves SC seeking withdrawal of disqualification, hearing tomorrow
Chief Justice of India Justice D.Y. Chandrachud. (PTI Photo/File)

The Supreme Court will on Tuesday hear former Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal’s plea stating that his disqualification as a Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha has not been revoked despite the fact that his conviction has been stayed by the Kerala High Court.

A bench led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud listed the matter for tomorrow and tagged the petition related to the matter.

The Nationalist Congress Party leader has filed the latest petition contesting the refusal of the Lok Sabha Secretariat to take back the decision to disqualify him, despite the High Court staying his conviction.

In his petition, Faizal stated: “The petitioner is constrained to invoke the extraordinary jurisdiction of this court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, against the unlawful inaction on the part of the respondent, Secretary General of the Lok Sabha Secretariat in not withdrawing the notification dated January 13, 2023, whereby the petitioner was disqualified from his membership of Parliament from the Lakshadweep parliamentary constituency.”

Senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi mentioned the matter before the Chief Justice of India seeking urgent listing. He submitted that the apex court has refused to stay the Kerala High Court’s decision. “Despite that, the Lok Sabha Secretariat has not revoked his disqualification,” Singhvi said.

Earlier, in January, the Kerala High Court had suspended the conviction and sentence of Faizal and three others in a case of an attempt to murder.

On January 11, a sessions court in Lakshadweep convicted the NCP MP and three others to ten years imprisonment in an attempt to murder with regard to a case of 2009.

After being convicted, the two-time MP from the island was disqualified and the Election Commission of India declared a by-election.

On January 25, Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas of the Kerala High Court suspended Faizal’s conviction, expressing concerns about the wasteful expenditure of a by-poll, especially when Faizal’s term in the Lok Sabha is set to expire within a year and a half. Justice Thomas also observed that no dangerous arms were found to have been used by the accused in the case and that the wound certificates did not suggest any serious injuries.

Following the stay on conviction, the EC did not go ahead with the by-poll. When the Lakshadweep administration approached the top court, a bench comprising Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna refused to stay the High Court’s order.

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First published on: 27-03-2023 at 17:42 IST
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