Rahul Gandhi will not be disqualified as MP if conviction stayed: Experts


New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi can escape disqualification as a member of parliament if the appellate court suspends the conviction as well as the two-year jail term awarded to him by a Surat court in a 2019 criminal defamation case over his alleged “Modi surname” remarks, legal experts said on Thursday.

Senior lawyer and constitutional law expert Rakesh Dwivedi referred to the apex court’s 2013 and 2018 judgements in the Lily Thomas and the Lok Prahari matters respectively and said suspension of sentence and stay of conviction were necessary to escape disqualification as a lawmaker under the Representation of the People (RP) Act.

“The appellate court can suspend the conviction and the sentence and grant him bail. In that case there will be no disqualification,” he said, adding “However the politicians must choose their words carefully to avoid getting entangled with law.”

The debate over possibilities of Gandhi being disqualified as an MP must take note of the legal position enumerated in the apex court judgements and the relevant provisions of the RP Act, he said.

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