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Kerala HC refuses to suspend Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal's conviction in attempt to murder case

IANS | October 03, 2023 12:32 PM

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday refused to suspend the conviction of Lakshadweep Member of Parliament Mohammed Faizal in an attempt to murder case.

The court, however, suspended his sentence in the case.

Suspension of Faizal's plea to suspend his conviction can spell trouble to his Lok Sabha membership.

Incidentally, the court had earlier suspended Faizal's conviction and sentence but in August this year, the Supreme Court set the order aside and directed the High Court to reconsider and decide Faizal's plea afresh within a period of six weeks.

It was Justice N. Nagaresh who heard the matter and on Tuesday passed the order suspending the sentence of four persons, including Faizal who were convicted by the trial court.

On January 11, a sessions court in Kavaratti had convicted Faizal and three others for attempting to murder Padanath Salih, the son-in-law of former Union Minister and Indian National Congress leader, PM Sayeed, in relation to a political controversy during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. All four accused were effectively sentenced to undergo 10 years of rigorous imprisonment by the trial court.

Soon, the four convicts moved an appeal before the High Court on January 12 besiding filing applications to suspend their conviction and sentence and release them on bail during the pendency of their appeal.

On January 25, the Kerala High Court suspended the conviction and sentence imposed by the trial court prompting an appeal before the apex court.

The High Court opined that the case fell in the category of rare and exceptional circumstances and that the ramifications of not suspending his conviction were enormous.

The Union Territory of Lakshadweep appealed to the Supreme Court against the High Court order arguing that going by the reasoning in the order, every conviction and sentence of elected politicians would have to be suspended to avoid the financial burden of bye-elections.

However, the apex court set aside the High Court decision and directed it to hear the matter afresh, which led to the latest verdict.

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