Decision on Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification likely to be announced today
A court in Gujarat’s Surat held him guilty of criminal defamation for a remark he made ahead of the 2019 national polls about the Modi surname
The background work on taking a decision on Congress lawmaker Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification has started, a Lok Sabha official told HT on Friday and added it will take less than 10 minutes to prepare the file and get a legal consultation.
“If a decision is taken on Friday, the Lok Sabha Speaker will announce it in the House as per convention,” said the official, who did not want to be named.
Gandhi faces disqualification from Parliament after a court in Gujarat’s Surat held him guilty of criminal defamation for a remark he made ahead of the 2019 national polls about the Modi surname.
The official cited above said there are precedents including the recent disqualification of the Lakshadweep Member of Parliament.
Gandhi will have to appeal to a higher court and get a stay on the conviction to prevent the disqualification - something the Congress party said it will do – to take the next step.
Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi told HT they will move a sessions court against Gandhi’s conviction this weekend.
Gandhi was convicted under Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code, which provide for imprisonment of up to two years, and later was released on bail. The court suspended the sentence for 30 days on Gandhi’s plea.
Any elected representative sentenced for any offence for two years or more faces immediate disqualification under the Representation of People Act, 1951. One provision of the Act that granted three-month protection from disqualification was struck down in 2013 as “ultra vires” by the Supreme Court in the Lily Thomas case.
In Gandhi’s case, the Surat court suspended his sentence for 30 days at the request of his legal team, to give him an opportunity to challenge the decision.