Road Ahead for Rahul Gandhi after Supreme Court verdict

Road Ahead for Rahul Gandhi after Supreme Court verdict

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi got a big relief on Friday from Supreme Court. A three judges bench of the Supreme Court stayed his conviction in the ‘Modi surname defamation case’. In 2019, a Gujarat court convicted and sentenced Rahul Gandhi to 2 years imprisonment for commenting on the Modi surname, which resulted in losing his Lok Sabha membership.

Up till the Surat Sessions Court gives its decision, the Supreme Court's suspension of the conviction order will remain in effect. In the Surat Sessions Court, Rahul Gandhi has appealed against the conviction; the case is currently ongoing. Rahul Gandhi has got relief from the Supreme Court in this fashion, although his legal issues are still in existence.

In March 2023, his Lok Sabha membership was revoked after the lower court gave him a 2-year sentence. In this context, the Lok Sabha Secretariat had released a notification. After the Supreme Court suspended the punishment, Rahul Gandhi is now prepared to re-enter the Lok Sabha. Following the decision on Friday, 4th August 2023, Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary met with Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and urged that Rahul Gandhi's membership be immediately reinstated. The Speaker, however, stated that he was awaiting a copy of the Supreme Court's ruling.

After receiving a copy of the court order, officials from the Lok Sabha Secretariat will analyze it. Following that, a directive would be made about Rahul Gandhi's reinstatement as a member of the Lok Sabha. There is no set deadline for this process' completion, but it is hoped that Rahul Gandhi will be able to attend the Lok Sabha sessions the following week.

Despite the Supreme Court's stay of conviction, Rahul Gandhi's problems are far from over. The Supreme Court just suspended the punishment. The Surat court in Gujarat, where Rahul Gandhi has filed an appeal, will make a decision on quashing the conviction. Previously, the Sessions Court denied Rahul Gandhi's request for an immediate stay on his conviction.

During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi stated at a rally in Kolar, Karnataka, that Modi's surname is "thief." Purnesh Modi, a Gujarat government minister and BJP leader, launched a defamation suit in response to this statement. Rahul Gandhi was found guilty and sentenced to two years in prison by the Surat lower court in March 2023. The unique aspect of this case is that Rahul Gandhi received the maximum sentence. In other words, even if the lower court reduced the term by one day, Rahul Gandhi's membership in Parliament would not have been jeopardized.

Supreme Court in its decision has held that “We are of the considered view that the ramification of subsection (3) of Section 8 of the Act are wide-ranging. They not only affect the right of the appellant to continue in public life but also affect the right of the electorate, who have elected him, to represent their constituency.” This would certainly be considered by the Lok Sabha Secretariat while considering the urgency in restoring his membership as a Parliamentarian.


View/download the complete order of Supreme Court

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