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Post conviction in ‘Modi surname’ case, Rahul’s LS seat at risk? What options he has, what he said

Until the Sessions court passes a stay order on this conviction, the sword of disqualification from Parliament will loom large on his head.

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Rahul Gandhi
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New Delhi: Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Thursday convicted by a Surat court in defamation case filed against him for derogatory & deriding remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019.

The court awarded him two years imprisonment in ‘Modi surname’ defamation case, however, the order has been kept in abeyance and he has been granted 30 days to file an appeal against the verdict.

Rahul’s conviction has triggered war of words between Congress & BJP, however, the bigger question that’s troubling the Congress MP is whether he will be disqualified as Member of Parliament.

The concerns over Rahul’s ‘likely’ disqualification stems from the Supreme Court’s 2013 verdict in Lily Thomas vs Union of India case, where the court said a Member of Parliament (MP) or Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) and a Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) if convicted and sentenced to minimum 2 years in prison, loses membership of the House with immediate effect. This verdict though was in contrast to its own previous verdict that public representative will have all legal remedies at disposal before losing his/her seat.

Going by SC verdict on conviction of MP & MLA & subsequent disqualification from the House, it means Rahul stands to lose his membership of the Lok Sabha

What legal options Rahul has

Rahul has been granted 30 days to appeal in the higher court and that is the breather for him.
According to legal experts, Rahul will have to challenge his sentencing & get a stay on the conviction from the higher court.

As the Congress MP was held guilty by a Chief Judicial Magistrate, he will have to approach Sessions Court and get the sentencing set aside.

Until the Sessions court passes a stay order on this conviction, the sword of disqualification from Parliament will loom large on his head.

What utterances put Rahul in trouble?

Rahul Gandhi & Congress went into an overdrive while attacking Narendra Modi government during 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

From ‘Chowkidaar chor’ to corrupt BJP regime, Congress party mounted many slogans to corner the incumbent govt.

At a public gathering, Rahul had said, “Why all those people with Modi surnames are thieves?”

This was the comment that put him in trouble. A couple of BJP leaders lodged complaint against his offending remarks.

Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi had also lodged a case against Rahul in Bihar, the proceedings of which are said to be in final stage and yet another legal trouble could be heading his way.

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