Rahul Gandhi disqualified from Parliament day after conviction in defamation case

Rahul Gandhi addressing media. [Photo: Twitter/ INCTamilNadu]

New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi was on Friday disqualified from Lok Sabha a day after a district court in Surat convicted him in a defamation case filed against him in 2019 over his ‘Modi surname’ remark. The Congress leader represented Kerala’s Wayanad Lok Sabha Constituency in the Parliament.

“Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification effective from date of his conviction March 23,” the letter issued by the Lok Sabha Secretariate reads.

Earlier on Thursday, the Surat District Court sentenced Gandhi to two years in jail in a 2019 criminal defamation case filed against him for allegedly making remarks about the “Modi surname.”

The court immediately granted him bail and postponed the execution of its judgement for a 30-day term so the Congress leader could appeal to a higher court.

The accusation against Gandhi stemmed from comments he made at a Lok Sabha election rally in Kolar, Karnataka, on April 13, 2019. BJP MLA and former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi had fled the complaint.

“Why all the thieves, be it, Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi or Narendra Modi, have Modi in their names,” the Congress leader had allegedly said during the rally.

Reacting to the court order outside Parliament on Thursday, GoI Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said the Congress was “suffering” because of Gandhi’s “attitude”. “Whatever Rahul Gandhi says always affects Congress party and the entire nation in a negative way,” he had said.

Gandhi had last appeared before the Surat court in the case, filed under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 499 and 500 (dealing with defamation), in October 2021 to record his statement.

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