The Supreme Court on Tuesday set aside the Kerala High Court order suspending conviction and sentence of Lakshadweep Lok Sabha MP Mohammed Faizal in an attempt to murder case and remanded the matter back to the high court for fresh adjudication in six weeks.
A bench of Justices BV Nagarathna and Ujjal Bhuyan, however, protected the MP from any possibility of disqualification, saying the protection of the earlier order will remain in force for six weeks.
The high court will have to decide the appeal of the Lakshadweep administration afresh during that period.
The top court said the approach of the high court was “erroneous” in suspending the conviction and sentence of the Lok Sabha MP in the case.
On January 11, 2023, Faizal and three others were sentenced to 10 years rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs 1 lakh each by a sessions court in Kavaratti in Lakshadweep for attempting to kill Mohammed Salih, son-in-law of the late union minister P M Sayeed, during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
Faizal had moved the Kerala High Court against the order and the HC suspended his conviction and sentence on January 25.
In its order, the high court said it was suspending the conviction and sentence of the NCP leader pending disposal of his appeal against the trial court order. It said not doing so will result in fresh elections for the seat vacated by him which will impose a financial burden on the government and the public.
The Lakshadweep administration moved the Supreme Court against the high court’s order, and on January 30, the top court agreed to hear its petition.
On March 29, the top court had disposed of Faizal’s separate plea against his disqualification as a Member of Parliament in view of the Lok Sabha secretariat’s notification restoring his membership following the high court order.