Congress leader and former MP Rahul Gandhi has approached the Gujarat High Court seeking pardon in the defamation case.
He was sentenced to two years by a lower court in Surat. After this he had to lose his Lok Sabha membership.
On March 23, the court of Surat gave its verdict in the case of remarks made by Rahul Gandhi regarding the surname Modi in 2019.
The court sentenced him to two years’ imprisonment under section 504. However, the court had also given a few days’ time to implement the decision.
Along with this, he was also given bail immediately. Rahul also filed three petitions in the Surat court, one of which was rejected by the court and the other is to be heard on May 3.
During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, at a rally in Kolar, Karnataka, Rahul Gandhi had said, ‘How come all thieves have Modi as their surname?’
Regarding this, BJP MLA and former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi had filed a defamation case against Rahul Gandhi.
He alleged that Rahul had defamed the entire Modi community with his remarks. A case was registered against Rahul under IPC sections 499 and 500 (defamation).
After this decision of the Supreme Court, as soon as the leader is convicted in any court, the legislature-parliamentary status goes away. With this, that person becomes ineligible to contest elections for the next six years.
Rahul’s MP post has gone. If he does not get relief from the court also, then Rahul will not be able to contest the 2024 and 2029 Lok Sabha elections.
In fact, in 2013, the Supreme Court gave a historic verdict regarding the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
The court declared section 8(4) of this act as unconstitutional. According to this provision, an elected representative convicted in a criminal case (under sections with a provision of punishment of two years or more) could not be disqualified if an appeal is filed on his behalf in a higher court.
That is, Section 8(4) allowed the convicted MP, MLA to continue in office pending an appeal against the court’s decision.