Video Producer: Mayank Chawla
Video Editor: Prajjwal Kumar
Amid the ongoing row over disqualification of Rahul Gandhi from the Parliament, the Lok Sabha Secretariat on Wednesday, 29 March, restored the membership of NCP leader and Lakshadweep MP Mohammad Faizal, who was disqualified in January following his conviction in a criminal case.
The revocation comes hours before the Supreme Court was scheduled to hear a plea moved by Faizal for his membership to be restored.
Why was Faizal disqualified?: In January, a sessions court had sentenced Faizal and three others to a 10-year jail term in an attempt to murder case related to an incident in 2009, following which he was disqualified from the Lower house. Faizal was convicted by a court in Kavaratti and bypolls were announced for his constituency by the Election Commission.
Faizal then moved the Kerala High Court which had stayed his conviction by the sessions court on 25 January. The HC, while hearing the matter, questioned the rationale behind the bypolls considering the term is supposed to expire next year.
Why did Faizal move SC?: Following the stay on his conviction by the Kerala HC, Faizal filed a plea in the Supreme Court saying that the Lok Sabha Secretariat failed to withdraw the notification despite his conviction having stayed by the high court.
The plea also mentioned that Faizal was not able to attend the Budget Session, the first part of which was held between 31 January-13 February and the second part is currently underway.
Meanwhile, the challenge to the Kerala HC's conviction by the Union Territory (UT) of Lakshadweep is already being heard by another SC bench. Faizal was issued a notice in the matter on 20 February.
What happened in SC on Wednesday?: The SC on Wednesday disposed of Faizal's plea after the secretariat's notification.
A bench of Justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna took on record the notification of Lok Sabha secretariat restoring the membership.
The notification was submitted to the court by senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for Faizal, in the presence of SG Tushar Mehta who was appearing for the the Union Territory of Lakshadweep.
The bench said that that the challenge of Lakshadweep against the January Kerala High Court order will be heard irrespective, PTI reported.
What did Faizal say after his reinstatement?: Speaking to news agency ANI, Faizal said that the kind of swiftness shown in his disqualification should also have been shown in his reinstatement.
"This delay in revoking my disqualification is not appreciated. The Secretariat took the decision of disqualifying me the very next day my conviction was declared. This kind of swiftness should have been shown in restoring my membership as well," he said.
(With inputs from ANI and PTI.)