Kerala High Court suspended the conviction and sentence of former Lakshadweep MP and Nationalist Congress leader (NCP) leader PP Mohammed Faizal and three others in a case of attempt to murder.
Single Bench of Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas issued the order on a plea of Faizal and others challenging a trial court's order at Lakshadweep in an attempt to murder case. Faizal filed the application seeking to suspend the 10-year imprisonment.
The court said that politics should be decriminalized for a healthy democracy.
The Court observed, "The decriminalization of politics is essential to every democracy. As a Constitutional Court, it is the duty to advance the Constitutional objectives including purity in politics, however, those lofty principles cannot be the reason for denying the applications of the principles of rule of law. The Societal interest in averting an expensive election when the elected candidate can continue for a limited period alone if a fresh election is conducted cannot be brushed aside by the Court."
"The societal interest and the need to have purity in politics in elections will have to be balanced, in this context, the circumstance at the appeal is a statutory right and under Section 393 CrPC, finality is attached only to the judgment of the appellate Court assumes significance. Considering the various legal and other circumstances as the special features arising in this case, especially those relating to the 2nd petitioner falls within the category of rare and exceptional circumstances. The ramification of suspending the conviction are enormous and this Court is of the view that the conviction and sentence of imprisonment imposed upon the second accused must be suspended until dismissed with the appeal," the court observed further.
Earlier, the Kavaratti Sessions Court had convicted four persons, including Faizal for committing offences punishable under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections143, 147, 148, 307, 324, 342, 448, 427, 506 read with 149 relating to offences relating to rioting, attempt to murder, violence, kidnapping.
They were all sentenced to undergo 10 years of rigorous imprisonment and were also directed to pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh each for attempting to murder Padanath Salih, the son-in-law of former Union Minister PM Sayeed in relation to a political controversy during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
The appeal of Faizal and others contended, "The weapons that were allegedly used were not recovered and the doctors said that the injuries were not life-threatening and could not have been caused by the type of weapons described by the witnesses. The case in the court is totally opposed to the narration in the first information statement.," the appeal said. (ANI)