KOCHI: The Supreme Court on Friday disposed of a petition filed by former Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faisal challenging the byelection notification issued by the Election Commission of India in view of his conviction in an attempt-to-murder case. The court disposed of the petition considering the submission made by the ECI that it would act in accordance with the law in view of the Kerala High Court order suspending the conviction of Mohammed Faisal.
The Lakshadweep sessions court had sentenced four persons, including Faisal, to 10 years jail term after they were found guilty of attempting to murder Mohammed Salih, son-in-law of former Union minister P M Sayeed during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. The Lok Sabha Secretariat had issued a notification on January 14 disqualifying Mohammed Faisal in view of the conviction. The Election Commission had issued the schedule for by-election in Lakshadweep on January 18. On January 25, Kerala High Court suspended the conviction which made the disqualification of Faisal inoperative.
Attending a felicitation programme organised by NCP in Kochi on Friday, Mohammed Faisal alleged that there was an understanding between Lakshadweep administrator Praful Khoda Patel and the Congress party to oust him. “The administrator had kept a helicopter ready to shift me to Kannur central jail. The Lok Sabha Secretariat disqualified me immediately and the Election Commission issued by-election notification. There was undue haste on the part of the administrator. The BJP will not get even 100 votes in Lakshadweep and the Congress has an advantage. They have not opposed the anti-people policies of the administrator. This reveals the understanding between Congress and the administrator,” said Faisal.
“The residents of Lakshadweep are made to wait for three months for a ticket to the mainland as there is no adequate ship service. The patients and students are put to hardship due to lack of ship service. Still the Congress has not criticised the administrator. Praful Patel wanted a person who does not oppose his policies as MP and the Congress has tried to make good of the opportunity,” he alleged.
NCP state president P C Chacko, who inaugurated the function, alleged that Lakshadweep administrator tried to disqualify Faisal as he had opposed the anti-people policies of the former.
“The administrator demolished the sheds erected by fishermen to keep their fishing gear which was opposed by Mohammed Faisal. He had also resisted the attempt to attach the properties of fishermen in the name of development. This prompted the administrator to oust Faisal. The attempt-to-murder case was booked in connection with a minor scuffle between supporters of Congress and NCP in 2009. After the incident Faisal was elected to the LS twice in 2014 and 2019,” he said.