Lakshadweep bypoll withheld
The Election Commission of India (EC) on Monday withheld its notification of a bypoll to Lakshadweep’s sole Lok Sabha seat that fell vacant after the conviction of its former NCP MP Mohammed Faizal P. P. earlier this month.
On January 11, Faizal and three others were given a jail term of 10 years by a Kavaratti court for attempting to murder Mohammed Salih, the son-in-law of late Congress minister P. M. Sayeed in 2009.
Following the verdict, Faizal was disqualified as an MP on January 13. On January 18, the EC announced the bypoll to the constituency he left vacant.
Faizal, represented by former Congress leader Kapil Sibal, appealed to the Supreme Court against the EC’s announcement on grounds that the poll panel should wait for his appeal to be decided by Kerala High Court.
On January 25, Kerala High Court suspended Faizal’s conviction and sentence until it pronounced its judgment on his appeal against the Kavaratti court’s verdict.
Kerala High Court has jurisdiction over Lakshadweep as well.
Following this, the EC told the SC on January 27 it would take appropriate action on the HC’s order.
On Monday, the EC said: “After considering the matter and having due regard to the Order passed by Hon’ble High Court of Kerala at Ernakulam dated 25th January, 2023, the Election Commission of India has decided to withhold the bye election and to defer the issuance of notification for holding the bye election in Lakshadweep...”