Former Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi has been disqualified as Lok Sabha MP from his Wayanad Seat in Kerala. The judgement came a day after his conviction in a 2-year old criminal defamation case.
A court in Surat has sentenced Rahul Gandhi to a two-year in prison over his remarks on the “Modi” surname. A day after being convicted in the case, Gandhi was removed from his MP chair of Wayanad constituency.
Here are the full details you need to read –
Rahul Gandhi Defamation Case
All of the issue started in 2019 when during a political rally in Karnataka, Rahul Gandhi allegedly said – “Do you know what is common between Neerav Modi, Lalit Modi and Narendra Modi? How come all thieves have “Modi” surname”
This sparked huge controversy then and hasn’t stopped till now. The court in Surat convicted Gandhi in this criminal defamation case on 23rd March 2023 and just a day after the conviction, Gandhi’s parliamentary membership has been evoked.
After his conviction, the court granted Mr Gandhi bail and suspended the sentence for 30 days in order to give him an opportunity to appear in front of a higher court.
The complaint was filed by BJP MLA Punesh Modi on Rahul’s derogatory “Modi” surname remark.
Rahul Gandhi Disqualified
A day after being convicted in the defamation case, Gandhi lost his Lok Sabha membership. The court has passed the judgement but also granted him bail and a 30-day relief for him to approach a higher court.
This is what the Lok Sabha Secretariat said in a notification regarding the issue, “Shri Rahul Gandhi, Member of Lok Sabha representing the Wayanad Parliamentary Constituency of Kerala stands disqualified from the membership of Lok Sabha from the date of his conviction i.e. 23 March, 2023 in terms of the provisions of Article 102(1)(e) of the Constitution of India read with Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951”.
The Section 8(3) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, states that the moment a member of parliament is convicted of any offence and sentenced for at least two years, she or he attracts disqualification.
The seat of Wayanad has been declared empty and the Election Commission has announced a special election for the seat.
Congress Leaders Respond
The judgement has generated mixed responses. The BJP leaders are welcoming it stating that the Judiciary has done well to serve justice to the OBC community over the “Modi” remark.
While the Congress leaders have absolutely thrashed the judgement. Manish Tewari, a prominent Congress leader, said, “Lok Sabha secretariat cannot disqualify an MP. The President has to do it in consultation with the Election Commission”.
Shashi Tharoor tweeted, “I’m stunned by this action and by its rapidity, within 24 hours of the court verdict and while an appeal was known to be in process. This is politics with the gloves off and it bodes ill for our democracy”.
This is what Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge has to say, “They are talking of insult to backward classes. The Congress has always stood with and fought for the backward classes, scheduled castes and minorities. These people, who believe in Manu, talk of backward classes”.
If the verdict is not cancelled or retracted Rahul Gandhi will not be able to contest elections for the next 8 years!
This is why Rahul Gandhi has challenged the judgement in a higher court as soon as the conviction came. He has been granted bail and a 30-day relief to prepare for the case.