Rahul Gandhi disqualified as MP; might be banned from contesting polls for 6 years

Top Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was on Friday disqualified as Lok Sabha MP, a day after a Surat court sentenced him in a defamation case.

Disqualified as MP

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s conviction and sentencing in a 2019 defamation case by a court in Gujarat has caused his position as a member of parliament. The notification disqualifying the Wayanad MP was issued hours after Rahul attended Lok Sabha in the morning session.


“Consequent upon his conviction by the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Surat… Rahul Gandhi, Member of Lok Sabha representing the Wayanad Parliamentary Constituency in Kerala stands disqualified from the membership of Lok Sabha from the date of his conviction… in terms of the provisions of Article 102(!)(e) of the Constitution read with Section of the Representation of the People Act, 1951,” the notification read. Quoted Deccan Herald.

Section 8(3) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, says that the moment a member of parliament is convicted of any offense and sentenced for at least two years, she or he attracts disqualification.

Though Mr. Gandhi was granted bail and his sentence was suspended for 30 days to let him appeal the decision, the court’s ruling puts him at risk of automatic disqualification as a member of parliament under the law, some legal experts said.


Can Mr. Gandhi Contest the Elections? Source: ETimes

Rahul Gandhi faces the risk of not being able to contest the Lok Sabha elections due in 2024 if his conviction is not suspended or overturned by a higher court before the elections.

According to a provision of the RP Act, a person convicted to imprisonment of two years or more shall be disqualified “from the date of such conviction” and remain disqualified for another six years after serving time.


How can Mr. Gandhi avoid disqualification?

To avoid disqualification, a convicted lawmaker has to secure an order from a higher court suspending the conviction, lawyers stated.

The Congress party has called a meeting of its steering committee members, senior leaders, state chiefs, and legislative party leaders on Friday evening to plan a strategy after Rahul Gandhi’s conviction.