Rahul Gandhi reinstated as MP after SC stays conviction in defamation case

Rahul Gandhi was disqualified in May after he was given a 2-year imprisonment for his statements over Prime Minister Modi's surname

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was restored to parliament on Monday, August 7, after his conviction in a criminal defamation case for his statement over the ‘Modi surname’ was stayed by the Supreme Court.

Gandhi will return to the Lok Sabha, this time representing his Wayanad constituency, at a time when the house has been repeatedly disrupted by the Opposition group INDIA’s demand for a separate session on Manipur following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comments on the subject.

While ordering a stay on Rahul Gandhi’s conviction on Friday, the Supreme Court stated that while his words were not in good taste, his disqualification would affect his people.

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The trial judge had imposed the maximum term of two years in the case, according to the Supreme Court, noting that a day less would not have resulted in disqualification as an MP. “The consequences of disqualification affect not only the rights of the individual but also the electorate,” the judges wrote.

Gandhi was disqualified in May after receiving a two-year prison sentence in a defamation case for comments about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surname. In a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gandhi asked at a rally in Karnataka’s Kolar ahead of the 2019 general election, “How come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?”

Welcoming the decision, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said, “It brings relief to the people of India, and especially to Wayanad. Whatever time is left of their tenure, BJP and Modi Govt should utilise that by concentrating on actual governance rather than denigrating Democracy by targeting opposition leaders.”

Over accusations of delay in Gandhi’s reinstatement after the SC’s decision on Friday, Parliamentary Affair minister Prahlad Joshi said, “Speaker took the decision today. We followed the legal process and immediately after receiving the Supreme Court’s order, we restored it.”

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