Kerala HC suspends disqualified Lakshadweep MP’s conviction

Says consequences of not suspending conviction drastic for nation

Published: 26th January 2023 06:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th January 2023 06:16 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday suspended the conviction and sentence awarded by the Kavaratti Sessions Court to disqualified Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal in a case of attempt to murder Mohammed Salih, son-in-law of former Union minister P M Sayeed, during the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.

Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas observed that the consequence of not suspending the conviction of Faizal is drastic not only for him but even for the nation. The cumbersome process of elections will have to be started, and the exorbitant cost of a parliamentary election will have to be borne by the nation and indirectly by the people of this country. The enormity of administrative exercises required for the conduct of an election will inevitably lead to various developmental activities in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep coming to a halt for a few weeks at least. Despite all these exercises and financial burdens, the maximum period for which the elected candidate can function will be only a period of less than fifteen months.

It is necessary that purity in politics and, consequently, in democracy is required to be infused. The decriminalisation of politics is an essential requirement of every democracy. As a constitutional court, it is the bounden duty to advance the constitutional objectives, including purity in politics. However, those lofty principles cannot be the reason for denying the application of the principles of rule of law.

The societal interest in averting an expensive election that too, when the elected candidate can continue for a limited period alone if the fresh election is conducted, cannot be brushed aside by this court. The societal interest and the need to have purity in politics and elections will have to be balanced.Hence, the court is of the view that the conviction and sentence of imprisonment imposed upon Faizal on the files of the Sessions Court,​Kavartti, should be suspended until the disposal of the appeal.

Mohammed Faizal’s counsel has approached the Lok Sabha Speaker seeking to withdraw the notification disqualifying him as a member of the parliament. The letter stated that the HC has stayed the conviction and sentence imposed on Faizal. Hence, his disqualification has ceased to operate. Citing the SC order, the letter said that “Upon the stay of a conviction under Section 389 of CrPC, the disqualification under Section 8 will not operate.”


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