The Kerala High Court's decision to suspend the conviction of Mohammed Faizal, the Lok Sabha MP from Lakshadweep, in an attempt to murder case has been overturned by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court deemed the high court’s approach “incorrect” in halting the conviction and sentence of Mohammed Faizal, MP from Lakshadweep. The matter has now been referred back to the high court for reevaluation within a period of six weeks. During this time, the earlier safeguard that prevents Faizal from facing disqualification will remain in effect.
The high court will need to reexamine the Lakshadweep administration’s appeal during this specified timeframe. The Supreme Court stressed that the high court’s initial decision to suspend the conviction and sentence was misguided.
On January 11, 2023, Mohammed Faizal and three others were given 10 years of rigorous imprisonment and fined ₹1 lakh each by a Kavaratti sessions court in Lakshadweep. This was for their involvement in attempting to murder Mohammed Salih, the son-in-law of the late union minister P M Sayeed, during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
Faizal contested this ruling and took his case to the Kerala High Court, resulting in the suspension of his conviction and sentence on January 25. The high court justified this move by explaining that not doing so could lead to a fresh election for his seat, incurring financial burdens on the government and the public.
In response to the high court’s decision, the Lakshadweep administration appealed to the Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case on January 30. On March 29, the Supreme Court resolved a separate plea from Faizal, regarding his disqualification as a Member of Parliament, as the Lok Sabha secretariat had reinstated his membership based on the high court’s order.