Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday posted for February 6 a plea by the Union Territory of Lakshadweep challenging Kerala HCs order of staying the conviction of former Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal in an attempt to murder the case. 

The plea was mentioned by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta before a bench led by CJI DY Chandrachud. Urging the bench to list the plea, Mehta said, “It is a matter where the conviction of an MP has been stayed by the High Court.”

Faizal and the three other accused persons were convicted for offences punishable under Sections 143, 147, 148, 448, 427, 324, 342, 307, 506 r/w 149 of IPC and sentenced by the Sessions Court to undergo 10 years of rigorous imprisonment and also imposed a fine of Rs one lakh each on the convicts for attempting to kill Mohammed Salih, son-in-law of former Union Minister P M Sayeed, during the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. He subsequently was also disqualified by the Lok Sabha Secretariat from the Lower House of Parliament.

Faisal’s conviction was stayed by the Kerala HC on January 25. Justice Bechu Kurian noted that the accused in the case had not used dangerous weapons and that the wound certificates did not indicate any serious injuries.

“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,” HC noted in its order. 

Recording ECI’s statement that it would take into consideration Kerala HCs ruling of staying former Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faisal’s conviction, SC on Friday had disposed Faisal’s plea challenging ECI’s press release announcing by-elections for his constituency. 

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