Amid a row over Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification from the Parliament following his 2-year sentencing by a Gujarat court, the Lok Sabha secretariat restored the membership of Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal. The announcement came in the middle of a Supreme Court hearing regarding Faizal’s plea to revoke his disqualification from the Parliament.
A bench of Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna took on record the notification of the Lok Sabha secretariat restoring the membership of Faizal, who was disqualified from the lower house in January following his conviction in the criminal case.
Senior advocate AM Singhvi, appearing for Faizal, an MP of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), produced the notification before the court and said that now that his membership has been restored, nothing survives in his plea. "It took two months for the Lok Sabha to revoke his disqualification. It was done on Wednesday morning", Sinhvi told the court.
The bench clarified that the appeal of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep against the January 25 order of the Kerala High Court would be heard.
On January 30, NCP supremo Sharad Pawar appealed to Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla and requested him to revoke Faisal’s disqualification. He shared a glimpse of his meeting on his official Twitter handle.
Faizal was disqualified from Lok Sabha on January 13, after he and three others were sentenced to 10-year rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs 1 lakh each by a sessions court in Kavaratti (in Lakshadweep) for attempting to murder Mohammed Salih, son-in-law of the late Union Minister P M Sayeed, during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
He was automatically disqualified as a Member of Parliament.
Speaking to news agency ANI, the NCP leader complained about the delay in re-instating his membership and said, "This delay in my membership is not appreciated. The (Lok Sabha) Secretariat took the decision of disqualifying me… the very next day my conviction was declared. At least that swiftness should have been shown for (re-instating) my membership."
Faisal had claimed that a false case was made against him in connection to the attempt to murder of the late minister’s son-in-law.
Later, the Kerala high court stayed the conviction and the sentence imposed upon Faizal. On February 20, the Supreme Court issued notice to Faizal and others on the plea filed by Lakshadweep.
Rahul Gandhi was disqualified as a member of the Lok Sabha after his conviction by a Surat court in a defamation case pertaining to his comments on the ‘Modi’ surname.
Opposition parties stepped up their offensive against the Narendra Modi government and observed a "black day for democracy" on Monday.