Rahul’s disqualification as Lok Sabha member revoked

New Delhi: The Lok Sabha membership of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was restored on Monday, days after the Supreme Court stayed his conviction in a defamation case.

The Lok Sabha Secretariat issued a notification announcing that his disqualification has been revoked and his membership restored.

“In continuation of notification … dated 24th March, 2023, the Supreme Court of India has passed an order on 04.08.2023 in Special Leave to Appeal (Crl.) No. 8644/2023, staying the conviction of Shri Rahul Gandhi, Member of Lok Sabha representing the Wayanad Parliamentary Constituency of Kerala, which was ordered by the judgment dated 23.03.2023 of the Court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Surat.

The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the conviction of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in a 2019 defamation case over his Modi surname remark, restoring his status as an MP. A three-judge bench of Justices B R Gavai, P S Narasimha and Sanjay Kumar said no doubt that the utterances were not in good taste and that a person in public life is expected to exercise caution while making public speeches.

“No reason has been given by the trial judge for imposing maximum sentence, the order of conviction needs to be stayed pending final adjudication,” the bench said.

The top court was hearing a plea by Gandhi challenging the Gujarat High Court verdict which dismissed his plea seeking a stay on his conviction in a defamation case over his “Modi surname” remark.

Former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi had filed a criminal defamation case in 2019 against Gandhi over his “How come all thieves have Modi as the common surname?” remark made during an election rally in Kolar in Karnataka on April 13, 2019.

Meanwhile, Congress hailed the Supreme Court ruling staying the conviction of Rahul Gandhi in a 2019 defamation case, calling the judgment a strong vindication of truth and asserting that “no force can silence the voice of the people”.

The Congress described it as a “victory of love over hate”.

Congress general secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh said the Supreme Court judgment is a strong vindication of truth and justice.

“Despite the relentless efforts of the BJPs machinery, Rahul Gandhi has refused to bend, break or bow, choosing instead to place his faith in the judicial process,” he said on Twitter.

“Let this be a lesson to the BJP and its acolytes: you can do your absolute worst but we will not back down. We will continue to expose and call out your failures as a Government and as a party. We will continue to uphold our Constitutional ideals and repose faith in our institutions which you so desperately want to destroy. Satyameva Jayate!” Ramesh said.

Congress’ general secretary organisation K C Venugopal also hailed the verdict.

“We welcome the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s verdict staying Sh. @RahulGandhi ji’s conviction. Justice has prevailed. No force can silence the voice of the people,” Venugopal said on Twitter.

In a tweet in Hindi, the Congress said, “It is a victory of love over hate. Satyamev Jayate — Jai Hind

Congress general secretary Randeep Surjewala also hailed the ruling, saying justice has prevailed.

“The roar of truth will be heard again the halls of democracy!” he said.