The instance where the Kerala High Court, in January this year, suspended the verdict passed by the Kavaratti District and Sessions Court (in an attempt to murder case) in which the then sitting Member of Parliament (MP) of Lakshadweep and Nationalist Congress Party leader P.P. Mohammed Faizal was sentenced to 10 years in jail, has raised an interesting question on his disqualification. The issue is on whether disqualification for conviction is final or whether it can be revoked. This issue can arise whenever a legislator is disqualified. This is not very rare — Samajwadi Party Member of the Assembly Abdullah Azam Khan was disqualified from the Uttar Pradesh legislature just a week ago.
The facts are as follows. Mr. Faizal was convicted by the Kavaratti sessions court on January 11 for attempt to murder, and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. On January 13, the Lok Sabha announced that he was disqualified as an MP with effect from the date of conviction. On January 18, the Election Commission of India (ECI) fixed February 27 as the date for by-election to that constituency, with the formal notification to be issued on January 31. Mr. Faizal appealed to the Kerala High Court for a stay on his conviction and sentence, which the High Court suspended on January 25.