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Lakshadweep MP Mohammad Faizals LS membership reinstated


Published on: March 29, 2023 | Updated on: March 29, 2023

Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal

New Delhi: The Lok Sabha membership of NCP leader Mohammad Faizal P.P., who was disqualified from the Lower House in January following his conviction in a criminal case with a 10-year jail term, was restored on Wednesday. A notification was issued restoring Mr Faizal membership hours ahead of the hearing in the Supreme Court on his petition in the matter.

Lok Sabha secretary general Utpal Kumar Singh issued a notification restoring the membership of Mr Faizal, citing the suspension of his conviction and 10-year jail term by the Kerala high court in an attempt to murder case.

The decision came against the backdrop of Rahul Gandhi's disqualification from the Lok Sabha after he was sentenced to a two-year jail term by a trial court in Gujarat in a criminal defamation case. Mr Gandhi is yet to appeal to a higher court against the verdict.

The NCP welcomed the revocation of Mr Faizal's suspension but expressed strong displeasure over the delay by the Lok Sabha secretariat.

Mr Faizal was disqualified from Lok Sabha on January 13, after he and three others were sentenced to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment and fined `1 lakh each by a sessions court in Kavaratti for attempting to murder Mohammed Salih, son-in-law of the late Union minister P.M. Sayeed, during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

"It was not expected from the Lok Sabha secretariat. The Election Commission had put the notification of the bypolls on hold after the high court suspended my conviction, but the other constitutional body was sitting on the files. This was not fair on behalf of the Lok Sabha secretariat," Mr Faizal told the media here.

Mr Faizal, who was present in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, said he had to approach the Supreme Court to get himself reinstated. He also met Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla along with NCP floor leader Supriya Sule.

"In view of the order dated January 25 of the high court of Kerala, the disqualification of Mr Faizal, notified vide Gazette Notification no. 21/4(1)/2023/TO(B) dated January 13, in terms of the provisions of Article 102(1)(e) of the Constitution of India read with Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, has ceased to operate subject to further judicial pronouncements," the Lok Sabha secretariat notification said.

Mr Faizal had moved the Supreme Court on Tuesday, seeking revocation of his disqualification from the Lok Sabha, contending that the Kerala high court stayed his conviction in the attempt-to-murder case.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar had met Mr Birla on January 30 and requested him to revoke the suspension of the two-term member from Lakshadweep.

After the disqualification, the Election Commission announced byelections to the Lakshadweep parliamentary seat on January 18. However, on January 30, it decided to withhold the byelection after the Kerala high court order.