Supreme Court to hear disqualified MP’s plea against delay in reinstating him
Disqualified NCP MP PP Mohammed Faizal complained to the Supreme Court that the Lok Sabha secretariat is yet to issue the order revoking his disqualification in view of the Kerala high court order staying his conviction
The Supreme Court will hear on Tuesday a plea by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader PP Mohammed Faizal, complaining that his disqualification as the Member of Parliament (MP) from Lakshadweep has not been revoked by the Lok Sabha Secretariat despite a stay by the high court on his conviction and jail term in an attempt to murder case.
Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud agreed to list the matter on March 28 after senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi mentioned the matter on behalf of Faizal, who was sentenced to a 10-year jail term on January 11 by a trial court but he got a stay on his conviction from the Kerala high court on January 25. The Lok Sabha Secretariat on January 13 issued the order on MP’s disqualification with effect from the date of his conviction.
“Even the Supreme Court has refused to stay the high court order which stayed his conviction, but he has still not been reinstated in the House. The SLP by the Lakshadweep administration has been heard four times by the Supreme Court of India. The matter is again coming up tomorrow. My request is that let this application be also heard with that matter,” Singhvi submitted before the CJI.
The top court in February refused a plea by the Lakshadweep administration to stay the Kerala high court order that suspended Faizal’s conviction in the 2009 case. A bench of justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna will take up the matter again on March 28.
On January 11, the Kavaratti Sessions court convicted four persons including Faizal for attempting to murder Padanath Salih, the son-in-law of former union minister and Congress leader PM Sayeed, in connection to a political controversy during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. The four were sentenced to undergo 10 years of rigorous imprisonment.
Following the Lok Sabha secretariat notifying the disqualification of Faizal’s membership on January 13, the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced bye-elections on the seat on January 18. In view of the Kerala high court’s decision to stay the conviction on January 25, ECI on January 30 decided to “withhold the bye-election and to defer the issuance of notification for holding the bye-election in Lakshadweep”.
But there has been no order withdrawing the Lok Sabha secretariat’s order, Faizal complained.
In his petition filed through advocate KR Sasiprabhu, Faizal said he was constrained to move the top court in the wake of “the unlawful inaction” by the Lok Sabha secretariat’s secretary general of not withdrawing the notification issued to disqualify him on January 13, 2023.
It further claimed that the LS Secretariat’s conduct in the teeth of the settled law that disqualification incurred by an MP under Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, ceases to operate if the conviction is stayed by the appellate court.
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