The Kerala High Court on Tuesday rejected a plea moved by Lakshadweep Lok Sabha MP Mohammed Faizal to suspend his conviction in an attempt to murder case.
A senior Central government lawyer involved in the case has confirmed the court’s decision. On 11 January 2023, Mohammed Faizal, along with three others, received a 10-year rigorous imprisonment sentence and a fine of Rs 1 lakh each from a Sessions Court in Kavaratti, Lakshadweep.
This sentence was the result of an attempt to murder Mohammed Salih, son-in-law of the late Union Minister P M Sayeed, during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
In response, Faizal moved the Kerala High Court, which on January 25, suspended his conviction and sentence. The high court justified this decision by stating that it was pending disposal of his appeal against the trial court’s ruling. The court pointed out that not doing so could lead to fresh elections for the vacated seat, imposing financial burdens on the government and the public.
In reaction to the high court’s order, the Lakshadweep MP Approached the top court. On 22 August, the apex court deemed the High Court’s decision as “erroneous” and revoked the suspension of the NCP lawmaker’s conviction.
The Supreme Court had granted temporary protection to Faizal’s status as an MP for a three-week period.
During this time, it had ruled that the benefit of the High Court’s challenged order, which stayed the suspension, would remain in effect. This was done to ensure that there would be no gap in the representation of the Lakshadweep Lok Sabha constituency in Parliament.
The Supreme Court had referred the matter back to the High Court and asked it to re-evaluate the lawmaker’s request for a stay of his conviction within this timeframe.