Lok Sabha secretariat revokes disqualification, reinstates Rahul Gandhi as MP | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Lok Sabha secretariat revokes disqualification, reinstates Rahul Gandhi as MP

Aug 07, 2023 10:47 AM IST

Rahul Gandhi’s membership was reinstated days after the Supreme Court stayed his conviction in a criminal defamation case filed by a BJP leader.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Lok Sabha membership has been restored as the House secretariat issued a notification revoking his disqualification on Monday, 137 days after he was disqualified on March 24.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. (PTI)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. (PTI)

READ HERE- Rahul Gandhi is MP again: What Lok Sabha Secretariat notification said

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Gandhi’s membership was reinstated days after the Supreme Court stayed his conviction in a criminal defamation case filed by a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader.

On March 24, the secretariat issued an order disqualifying Gandhi. The new order on Monday withdrew the previous one. Gandhi is also now eligible for the return of his bungalow.

The stay on Gandhi’s conviction made him eligible to return to the Lok Sabha as per the law. But he had to wait for a formal order from the secretariat to re-enter the Lok Sabha, where he has been a member since 2004.

Gandhi’s return to the Lok Sabha is crucial as the party wants him to participate in the no-confidence debate, which is expected to be initiated by Congress’s deputy leader Gaurav Gogoi. Gandhi spoke last in the House during the discussion on the President’s speech on February 7.

ALSO READ: Congress celebrates ‘victory of love against hate’ after Rahul Gandhi's MP status restored

Hours after the Supreme Court order, the Lok Sabha secretariat received a photocopy of the order, but as per the rules, it had to wait for an authenticated copy of the order. Lok Sabha officials argued that due to the weekend, no official work could be undertaken to expedite the process of Gandhi’s reinstatement.

On Friday, after the Supreme Court stayed his conviction, Congress started building up pressure for immediate revocation of the earlier order of the Lok Sabha secretariat issued that disqualified him from March 23.

The process included creating a file on the subject, which had the Supreme Court order along with a note on the possible steps. The file was cleared by top authorities before the circular was issued by an official to withdraw the March 24 order.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge stressed that the revocation of the disqualification should happen early. “It has to be seen as to how much time the Lok Sabha will take in reinstating Rahul Gandhi as a member,” he said, pointing out that when a Surat court convicted Gandhi on March 23, the Lok Sabha secretariat disqualified him the next day.

ALSO READ: Rahul Gandhi vacated his Delhi bungalow after disqualification. Will he get it back?

Kharge said the Gujarat court was “hundreds of kilometers away” while the “Supreme Court is just a few kilometers from Parliament,” insisting that there was no reason for delay.

“Gandhi was disqualified for speaking. Now he is qualified to speak!” Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said.

ALSO READ: Boost to I.N.D.I.A? What Rahul Gandhi's return as MP means for Opposition

Congress’ Lok Sabha floor leader Adhir Chowdhury met Speaker Om Birla on Saturday to urge him to expedite the process.

“Supreme Court said that it is staying the conviction of Rahul Gandhi. What does it mean? It means that he will get the opportunity to participate in the Parliamentary proceedings once again...The speed with which Rahul Gandhi was disqualified, should be the same to reinstate him,” Chowdhury said on Saturday.

He added that he called up the Speaker the previous night. “The Speaker suggested meeting him the next day. As per his suggestion, when I called him up once again this morning, he told me to speak to the Secretary-General and submit the documents to his office. I called up the Secretary-General who said that his office is closed today and told me to submit the letter to the Speaker...I sent the letter by post. They signed the letter but did not stamp it. The House should function and Rahul Gandhi comes back there. When he has been granted relief by the Court, we are requesting the Speaker to see that he faces no issue in coming back.”

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