Rahul Gandhi disqualified as member of Lok Sabha

International Desk Published: 24 March 2023, 03:53 PM | Updated: 24 March 2023, 04:12 PM
Rahul Gandhi disqualified as member of Lok Sabha
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi arrives at IGI Airport in New Delhi, Thursday, March 23, 2023. A Surat court on Thursday convicted Gandhi in a criminal defamation case filed against him over his alleged 'Modi surname' remark. Photo: PTI via The Indian Express

India's Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi has been disqualified from Lok Sabha, a day after a Surat court sentenced him in a criminal defamation case.

A notification from the lower House, signed by Secretary General Utpal Kumar Singh said, Mr Gandhi stands disqualified from the membership of Lok Sabha from the date of his conviction, as per the terms of Article 102 (1)(e) of the Constitution and Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

Mr Gandhi was sentenced to two years imprisonment for his “why all thieves have Modi surname” comment he allegedly made during the parliamentary election campaign in 2019. The court suspended the sentence for 30 days, so that Mr Gandhi can appeal in a higher court. The court has given bail to him on ₹10,000 bond.

According to the Section 8(3) of the Representation of the People (RP) Act, 1951, which guides the disqualification of a legislator, the moment a Member of Parliament is convicted of any offence and sentenced for at least two years, she or he attracts disqualification.

Read More: Rahul Gandhi gets 2 years jail in ‘Modi surname’ case

Experts though have differing views on whether the conviction and sentencing means immediate disqualification or the Wayanad MP gets time if he appeals.

Mr Gandhi is the second MP to be disqualified in the recent times.

Reacting to Mr Gandhi’s disqualification, Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor said he was stunned by the rapid action. “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,” he tweeted.

Congress leader and party’s General Secretary (Communication) said the party won’t be intimidated by this action. “We will fight this battle both legally and politically. We will not be intimidated or silenced. Instead of a JPC into the PM-linked Adani MahaMegaScam, @RahulGandhi stands disqualified. Indian Democracy Om Shanti,“ he tweeted.

Source: The Hindu