Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Lok Sabha membership has been restored after almost four months.
Its notification has also been issued. Rahul Gandhi’s membership has been restored at a time when the no-confidence motion is going to be debated in Parliament on Wednesday.
Rahul Gandhi was disqualified in May after receiving a two-year jail term in a defamation case following his comments about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surname.
At a rally in Kolar, Karnataka, ahead of the 2019 general elections, Gandhi had said, taking a dig at PM Modi, that how come Modi is the common surname of all thieves?
The Lok Sabha Secretariat issued a notification in this regard. The secretariat said in the notification that in view of the Supreme Court’s decision of August 4, the implementation of the March 24 notification regarding Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification is stayed till the next judicial decision.
The notification states, “In continuation of the notification dated March 24, 2023, the Supreme Court has passed an order dated August 4, 2023 in Special Leave Appeal (CRL) No. 8644/2023, representing Wayanad Parliamentary Constituency of Kerala the conviction of Mr. Rahul Gandhi, Member, has been stayed. The order of conviction was passed by the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (Surat) dated March 23, 2023.”
It also states, “In view of the order dated August 4, 2023, of the Supreme Court of India, in view of the provisions of Article 102(1)(e) of the Constitution, in the light of section 8 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, Shri Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification (as a member) has been stayed, subject to further judicial orders.”
The Congress welcomed the reinstatement of its leader and said it wanted Rahul Gandhi to be the main speaker in the debate on the no-confidence motion against the government in the Lok Sabha.
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said that the reinstatement of Rahul Gandhi’s membership is a welcome step, this decision has brought relief to the people of India, especially the people of Wayanad.
On Friday, the Supreme Court, while staying the conviction, had said that no reason has been given by the trial judge for awarding the maximum sentence. There is a need to stay the order of conviction till the final verdict comes. The judges had said that the effect of disqualification affects not only the rights of the individual but also the voters. Rahul Gandhi, who has consistently refused to apologise, tweeted after the relief that come what may, my duty will remain the same. Defence of the idea of INDIA.
The top court was hearing Rahul’s petition challenging the Gujarat High Court’s decision. The High Court had dismissed his plea seeking a stay on the Congress leader’s conviction in a defamation case related to the ‘Modi surname’.
On 13 April 2019, former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi filed a criminal defamation case against Rahul for his alleged controversial remarks regarding the Modi surname at an election meeting in Kolar, Karnataka. Rahul had remarked in the meeting that “How can all thieves have the same surname Modi?”