A court in Lakshadweep on Wednesday sentenced four people, including Lakshadweep MP Mohammed Faizal, to 10 years in jail after they were found guilty in an attempt to murder case.
Kavaratti sessions judge K Anilkumar also imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh each on the convicts for attempting to kill Mohammed Salih, son-in-law of late Congress leader and former Union minister PM Sayeed, during the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
All the convicts are relatives.
"This court has already found that the intention of the accused was to murder Mohammed Salih but they could not succeed. In fact the accused persons have attempted to murder Salih purely due to political rivalry", the court said.
The convicts were later airlifted to Kerala to lodge them in the Kannur central jail, official sources said.
"Accused Nos 1 to 4 are convicted and sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 10 years each and fine of Rs 1 lakh each in default of payment of fine to undergo rigorous imprisonment for one year each for committing the offence punishable under section 307 of IPC with 149 of IPC", the court said. There were 37 accused in the case.
The verdict has cast a shadow over the political career of Faizal, a leader of the Nationalist Congress Party, as he faces disqualification due to the conviction and sentencing for a period of 10 years in the criminal case, legal experts said.
They said the Supreme Court in its judgement dated 10 July 2013 while disposing the Lily Thomas Vs Union of India case had ruled that any MP, MLA or Member of a legislative council who is convicted of a crime and given a minimum of two years' imprisonment, loses membership of the House with immediate effect.
According to the prosecution, the Lakshadweep MP and 36 other accused along with some other identifiable persons, armed with deadly weapons, committed offence of rioting and voluntarily caused hurt on Salih after wrongfully confining him and his friend Mohammed Kassim at a place at Androth island.
Three accused including Faizal chased Salih when he tried to flee from the spot, broke open the room of a house where he had taken shelter and brutally manhandled him with the aid of dangerous weapons including sword stick, chopper, iron rod, rafters, sticks etc, it said.
The accused destroyed almost all the household articles kept in the house of Kadeejummabi, a key prosecution witness in the case.
Severely wounded Salih, son-in-law of late Congress leader and former Union Minister P M Sayeed, was evacuated to Ernakulam in Kerala in a chopper for better medical aid, the prosecution said.
They were attacked when they had reached the spot for intervening in a political issue during the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
Prior to be taken to the jail, Faizal told PTI that it was a 'politically motivated' case and he would file an appeal in the Kerala high court soon.
In its order, the court said imposition of appropriate punishment is the manner in which the courts respond to the society's cry for justice against the criminals.
"Justice demands that courts should impose punishment befitting the crime so that the courts reflect public abhorrence of the crime. The courts must not only keep in view the rights of the criminal but also the rights of the victim of the crime and society at large while considering imposition of appropriate punishment," it said.
The court said since Faizal, who is the second accused in the case, is a sitting MP, intimation shall be given to the Lok Sabha Speaker in accordance with the Third Schedule Under Rule 229 and 230 of the Lok Sabha Rules.
The court directed that a copy of the intimation should be endorsed to the Union home ministry and a telegram should be sent to the Lok Sabha Speaker as per the Rules.
The court also directed to send the copy of judgement to the Speaker and the Union Home Ministry by way of email.
Advocate Ajit G Anjarlekar appeared for Salih in the case.
K A Jibin Joseph was the special prosecutor.