Lakshadweep UT Moves SC, Challenging HC Suspension Of MP Mohammed Faizal’s Conviction

MP Mohammed Faizal

The Union Territory of Lakshadweep has filed a petition in the Supreme Court to overturn a Kerala High Court order that suspended Member of Parliament Mohammed Faizal’s conviction and sentence in an attempt to murder case.

Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General of India, mentioned the petition before Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud for urgent listing, stating that it was a matter in which an MP’s conviction had been stayed by the High Court. The CJI agreed to list the petition the following week.

A single bench of the Kerala High Court on January 25 suspended Faizal’s conviction, thereby staying his disqualification as a Member of Parliament. Meanwhile, the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced the dates for bye-elections in Lakshadweep.

The ECI informed the Supreme Court last Friday that it will follow the High Court’s order suspending the conviction.

While suspending the NCP leader’s conviction, High Court Justice Bechu Kurian expressed concern about the wasteful expenditure of a bye-poll, especially since the Lok Sabha’s term is set to expire in one and a half years. Justice Kurian also stated that no dangerous weapons were discovered to have been used by the accused in the case, and that the wound certificates revealed no serious injuries.

“The consequences of not postponing the second accused’s conviction are severe, not just for the second petitioner but also for the entire country. Elections will have to begin, and the nation and indirectly the citizens of this country will have to bear the exorbitant cost of a Parliamentary election. Various development efforts in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep would certainly come to a standstill for a few weeks at least due to the enormous administrative tasks necessary for the conduct of an election. The chosen candidate can only serve for a maximum of fewer than fifteen months notwithstanding all these activities and financial obligations “, the high court noted in its order.

The bench,however, refused to suspend the conviction of three other accused persons, but suspended their sentences.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte