The Lok Sabha Secretariat on Wednesday reinstated the membership of Mohammed Faizal as the Lakshadweep MP. The Nationalist Congress Party leader had lost his membership after being sentenced to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment in an attempt to murder case by a sessions court in January.

However, on January 25, the Kerala High Court had suspended Faizal’s conviction making him eligible to be reinstated as a Lok Sabha MP. Under the Representation of the People Act, 1951, a legislator sentenced to jail for two years or more stands to be disqualified from the date of conviction until six years after serving time.

Despite his conviction and sentencing being put on hold, the Lok Sabha Secretariat had not reinstated the membership of Faizal. The NCP leader then moved a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the secretariat’s refusal to revoke his disqualification.

The matter was to be heard on Tuesday but could not be taken up due to paucity of time. On Wednesday, the Lok Sabha Secretariat issued a notification saying that the disqualification of Faizal has ceased to operate.

Faizal and four others were convicted by the Kavaratti sessions court on January 11 for attempting to murder Padanath Salih, the son-in-law of former Union Minister and Congress leader PM Sayeed, during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. On January 13, Faizal was disqualified as a member of the Lok Sabha.

The delay in reinstatement of Faizal was being seen in greater political significance since the disqualification of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi as a Lok Sabha MP last week.

On March 23, a court in Gujarat sentenced the Congress politician to two years imprisonment in a criminal defamation case. He was found guilty in a case related to his speech ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in which he referred to thieves as having the surname Modi. A day later, Gandhi was disqualified as a member of Parliament.