PIL in SC challenges restoration of Rahul’s Lok Sabha membership

PIL in SC challenges restoration of Rahul’s Lok Sabha membership
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New Delhi, Sep 5: A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the restoration of Lok Sabha membership of former Congress President Rahul Gandhi.

The petition contended that once a member of Parliament or a state legislature loses his office by operation of law, he will continue to be disqualified till he is acquitted from the charges levelled against him.

The petitioner, Ashok Pandey, a Lucknow-based lawyer, prayed the Constitution Bench to decide as to whether on the basis of a stay of conviction, a person who has suffered disqualification by operation of law, will become qualified to be chosen as or for being, a member of Parliament or state legislature.

On August 4, the Supreme Court stayed the conviction of Rahul Gandhi in the ‘Modi surname' defamation case, which had cost him his Lok Sabha membership, saying that no reasons were given by the trial judge for imposing the maximum punishment of two years in the case.

Following the stay order of the Supreme Court, Lok Sabha secretariat restored his membership in Parliament on August 7.

Gandhi was disqualified as an MP in March this year after a Surat court convicted him and sentenced him to two years in prison for his "How come all thieves have Modi as the common surname" remark made during an election rally in Karnataka in April 2019. Gandhi's remark was interpreted as an attempt to draw an implicit connection between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and fugitive businessmen Nirav Modi and Lalit Modi.

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