Can Rahul Gandhi Be Disqualified As MP? A Lakshadweep Precedent
Congress’s Rahul Gandhi was convicted in a defamation case for his comments against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, raising a big question mark over his fate in the Lok Sabha. While this has given fuel to the BJP, which has been clamoring for his removal for over two months, the Lakshadweep MP. The handling of one’s case by the Union Law Ministry provides an interesting precedent.
After the Kerala High Court stayed the sentence of PP Mohammad Faisal, who was convicted in the attempted murder case, the Law Ministry has recommended his reinstatement.
MP was first sentenced by the Lakshadweep court in January. But a week later, the Kerala High Court stayed the sentence and declared his disqualification as a member of the Lok Sabha invalid.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission announced the by-elections on the constitution of Mr. Faisal of Sarath Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party. The MP filed a case in the Supreme Court against the verdict, following which the court asked it to set aside the commission’s order.
As for Rahul Gandhi, Congress sources agree that if he does not challenge the verdict, he will be disqualified immediately. Mr Gandhi, they said, would do exactly that and would not be attending Parliament for some time.
Section 8(3) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 states that a Member of Parliament shall be disqualified if he or she has been convicted of any offense for a minimum of two years. According to experts, the Lok Sabha Secretariat may disqualify Rahul Gandhi and declare his Wayanad seat vacant based on the Surat court order.
However, Lok Sabha officials handling disqualification procedures told NDTV on condition of anonymity that “there is no such rule book”. “Show your face and I’ll show you the rulebook,” insisted one of them.
If Rahul Gandhi is convicted, it is common practice to wait for the 30-day period to take a call.
Mr Gandhi was today convicted and sentenced to two years in prison in a four-year-old criminal defamation case for what he said about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s family name. Mr Gandhi asked, “How come all thieves have the common surname Modi?” He seems to have said that. Following this, BJP MLA and former Gujarat Minister Purnesh Modi filed a case in Gujarat.
He was granted bail and his sentence suspended for 30 days to allow time for an appeal.