Rahul Gandhi Back As MP: The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that Rahul Gandhi could still serve as a member of parliament if his conviction was stayed.
Rahul Gandhi has been reinstated to the parliament following a stay of his conviction for criminal defamation over his ‘Modi surname’ remark. At a time when the Lok Sabha has been disrupted repeatedly by INDIA’s demand for a dedicated discussion on violence in Manipur prefaced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement, Mr Gandhi will return to represent his constituency Wayanad.
After restoring his membership, the Congress said he should be a key speaker in the Lok Sabha’s debate on no-confidence motion on Tuesday.
As Rahul Gandhi has visited Manipur, Congress MP Manickam Tagore wants him to participate in the discussion on the no-confidence motion.
He will present the facts about Manipur in the Lok Sabha, he said.
On March 24, Rahul Gandhi was disqualified as a Lok Sabha member, with effect from March 23, after a Gujarat court found him guilty of defamation and sentenced him to two years in prison.
Any punishment of two years or more automatically disqualifies a politician.
Sweets were served to INDIA alliance leaders on the occasion.
The Lok Sabha Secretariat tweeted the official notification, calling it a “victory of love against hate”.
Shashi Tharoor, a senior Congress MP, called it “a victory for justice and democracy”.
I welcome the official announcement of @RahulGandhi’s reinstatement. He can now resume his duties in the Lok Sabha to serve the people of India and the Wayanad constituency. A victory for justice and our democracy!” he tweeted.
According to the Supreme Court, while Rahul Gandhi’s remarks were not in good taste, his disqualification from parliament would affect his constituents.
According to the top court, the trial judge had awarded a maximum sentence of two years in the case, noting that a day less would not have led to disqualification as an MP. According to the judges, disqualification affects not just the individual’s rights, but also the electorate.
Following his comments regarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surname, Mr Gandhi was disqualified in May after receiving a two-year jail sentence in a defamation case. In a dig at Prime Minister Modi, Mr Gandhi said, “How come all the thieves have Modi as their surname?” at a rally in Kolar, Karnataka, ahead of the 2019 general election.
Despite the top court’s reprieve, Mr Gandhi tweeted, “Come what may, my duty remains the same. Protect the idea of India.”
Other criminal defamation cases are pending against Mr Gandhi, including “the high-profile case of mudslinging the venerable Veer Savarkar” filed by the freedom fighter’s family.
According to Rahul Gandhi’s affidavit before the court, he has always maintained that he is not guilty of the offence, and that the conviction is unsustainable, and if he were to apologize and compound the offense, “he would have done it much sooner”.
The appeal is pending in the Surat Sessions court against Rahul Gandhi’s trial court order.