The Lok Sabha secretariat on Wednesday reinstated the membership of Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal, hours before the Supreme Court was scheduled to take up his plea challenging his continuing disqualification from the Lower House.
Faizal was disqualified as a Member of Parliament of the Lok Sabha on January 13 following his conviction in a case of attempt to murder by a sessions court in Kavaratti two days earlier. Faizal was sentenced to 10 years rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs 1 lakh for attempting to kill Mohammad Salih, the son-in-law of late Union minister PM Sayeed during the Lok Sabha elections in 2009.
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However, on January 25 this year, the Kerala High Court suspended his conviction as well as the 10-year sentence awarded to him. By then, the Election Commission of India had already moved to announce by-elections as the seat fell vacant following his disqualification.
While his plea challenging the EC’s bypoll notification was disposed of by the Supreme Court after the poll panel’s assurance that it will move according to the Kerala HC’s suspension of the sessions court order, Faizal moved the top court again on Tuesday against the Lok Sabha Secretariat for not withdrawing his disqualification as a Member of Parliament, despite a high court order staying his conviction in the attempt to murder case.
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A bench of Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna of the Supreme Court was scheduled to take up the matter today. However, the Lok Sabha Secretariat moved to restore Faizal’s membership before that.
“In view of order dated 25.01.2023 of the High Court of Kerala, the disqualification of Shri Mohammed Faizal P.P. notified vide Gazette notification no. 21/4/(1)/2023/TO(B) dated the 13th January, 2023 in terms of the provisions of Article 102(1)(e) of the Constitution of India read with Section 9 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, has ceased to operate subject to further judicial pronouncements,” the Lok Sabha Secretariat said in its order today.