Relief for ex-Lakshadweep MP: Kerala HC suspends 10-year jail sentence

Mohammed Faizal
Mohammed Faizal (in pic) had moved an appeal challenging the local court's decision to convict and sentence him and three others in an attempt to murder case.

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday suspended the verdict passed by the Kavaratti District and Sessions Court in an attempt to murder case in which former MP of Lakshadweep and NCP leader Mohammed Faizal P P was sentenced to 10 years in jail.

Faizal had moved an appeal challenging the local court's decision to convict and sentence him and three others in an attempt to murder case.

The Sessions Court had convicted the accused for offences punishable under various sections of the IPC and sentenced them to undergo 10 years of rigorous imprisonment and also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh each for attempting to kill Mohammed Salih, son-in-law of former Union Minister P M Sayeed, during the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.

When the matter was taken up for hearing the previous day, the counsel for the accused argued that the trial court's judgment was against the law, facts and evidence. The prosecution had claimed that the accused had tried to kill Salih with weapons, Live Law reported.

Faizal and others have averred that the evidence is "partisan/ interested" without any corroboration as the evidence consisted of the depositions of Salih and two other workers of the Congress party and the accused belong to NCP.

Submitting that police have not recovered weapons, the appellants informed the court that doctors had said that the injuries Salih suffered were not life-threatening and cannot be caused by sharp weapons described by the witnesses.

The injured and the other two witnesses do not have a consistent case and their evidence does not inspire confidence as they contradict each other on material points, according to the appeal.

In an objection filed by the Special Prosecutor for the Union Territory of Lakshadweep, it was submitted that the Sessions Judge had analysed the evidence of the case from a proper perspective and found that the appellants are guilty of the offences and had imposed a proportionate sentence.

Following the conviction on January 11, the Lok Sabha Secretariat disqualified the MP on the same day.

According to a 2013 Supreme Court verdict, charge-sheeted members of Parliament and MLAs, on conviction for offences, will be immediately disqualified from holding membership of the House without being given three months’ time for appeal, as was the case before.

Faizal is currently lodged in Kannur Central Jail.

(With Live Law inputs)

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