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Will act in line with Kerala High Court order suspending sentence of Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal: ECI to Supreme Court

Faizal’s petition had challenged the ECI announcement to hold by-elections in his constituency after he was disqualified as an MP following his conviction in an attempt to murder case by a trial court.

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday suspended the conviction imposed by a trial court on the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader till disposal of his appeal.

The petition before the top court filed on Thursday sought to quash the ECI’s press note dated January 18, which released the schedule for by-elections to fill Faizal’s seat.

Earlier this month, a Kavaratti Sessions Court had convicted four persons, including Faizal. They were all sentenced to undergo 10 years rigorous imprisonment and directed pay a fine of ₹1 lakh each for attempting to murder Padanath Salih, the son-in-law of former Union Minister PM Sayeed, in relation to a political controversy during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

The plea before the top court had contended that only a day after Faizal petitioned the Kerala High Court challenging his conviction in the attempt to murder case, the Secretary General of the Lok Sabha declared that he was disqualified from his membership of the house consequent to his conviction.

A grievance was raised that the ECI was now proposing to fill the petitioner’s seat without awaiting the appeal or stay application’s outcome.

The press note went against settled law that an MP’s disqualification under the Representation of People Act ceases to operate if the conviction is stayed by an appellate court, Faizal had submitted in his plea.

Source: Barandbench

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