‘What is the fundamental right that is violated?’ SC asks Mohammad Faizal on plea against disqualification as MP

The counsel said the NCP leader's right to represent the constituency is being taken away adding that the action was completely arbitrary.

BySouth First Desk

Published Mar 28, 2023 | 5:03 PMUpdatedMar 28, 2023 | 5:03 PM

Appeal moved by Lakshadweep MP

“What is the fundamental right that is violated?” the Supreme Court on Tuesday, 28 March, asked Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Mohammed Faizal who has filed a plea against the Lok Sabha Secretariat for not withdrawing a notification disqualifying him as an MP representing Lakshadweep, despite his conviction in an attempt-to-murder case being stayed by the Kerala High Court.

A bench of Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna posed the question to the lawyer appearing for the NCP leader after he mentioned the matter, saying it will be heard on Wednesday.

The counsel said the NCP leader’s right to represent the constituency is being taken away adding that the action was completely arbitrary.

Related: Considering Faizal case, wait for Rahul to be MP again may be long

‘Why was Article 226 not exercised?’

The bench asked him why he did not approach the Kerala High Court under Article 226. The lawyer replied that the top court is already seized of the petition filed by the Lakshadweep Administration against the high court’s stay on conviction

The bench then agreed to hear the matter on Wednesday. The petition filed by the Lakshadweep administration is also listed on Wednesday.

Earlier, senior advocate AM Singhvi, appearing for the former Lakshadweep MP in the Supreme Court, had submitted that the person has not been reinstated as an MP despite his conviction and sentence being stayed by the high court.

Faizal stood disqualified from the membership of Lok Sabha from 11 January, the date of his conviction in an attempt to murder case by a sessions court in Kavaratti, according to a notification issued on 13 January by the Lok Sabha Secretariat.

Related: Kerala HC suspends sentence of Lakshadweep MP Muhammed Faizal

‘Contempt to court’

In his petition filed in the apex court through advocate KR Sasiprabhu, Faizal said the Lok Sabha Secretariat failed to withdraw the notification despite the fact that his conviction was stayed by the high court on 25 January.

Earlier, Mohammad Faizal said that the Lok Sabha Secretariat not reinstating him as a member amounted to contempt to the court.

“Considering the Supreme Court order on the 2018 Lok Prahari vs the Union of India case, the disqualification of an elected representative should be revoked immediately after the conviction gets suspended. In my case, this hasn’t happened even after two months,” Faizal said.

The NCP leader had earlier written to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, on 24 February, seeking to revoke the notification that disqualified him.

Supriya Sule, NCP leader in the Lok Sabha, also wrote to the Speaker on 23 February asking for his reinstatement.

(With PTI inputs)