The latest updates on Rahul Gandhi’s case indicate that if his conviction is not overturned, he will face disqualification from participating in any elections for the next eight years.
Rahul Gandhi, a former member of India’s Lok Sabha, is set to appear in a Surat sessions court on Monday to challenge a verdict from a lower court that found him guilty of criminal defamation for his comment “all thieves have Modi surname.” The case was filed against him by BJP MLA Purnesh Modi. On March 24, the lower court found Gandhi guilty of defaming the entire Modi community. Shortly thereafter, he was disqualified from Lok Sabha under a rule that prohibits convicted MPs from holding office.
After a few days, he received instructions to leave his allocated official residence in New Delhi, which was given to him as an MP. He was given a deadline of April 22 to vacate the premises.
In April 2019, while campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka’s Kolar, Gandhi made a remark about the “Modi surname,” drawing a comparison between PM Narendra Modi and fugitives like Lalit Modi and Nirav Modi. Recently, Gandhi has been targeting the PM over his alleged connections with the embattled billionaire Gautam Adani, leading to the Congress accusing the Modi government of targeting Gandhi. The BJP, however, has maintained that this is merely a case of the law taking its course.
The ex-Congress Member of Parliament has been handed a two-year jail sentence for his wrongdoing. However, he has been granted a 30-day window to file an appeal against the verdict before the sentence takes effect. If the conviction is upheld, he will be barred from running for election for a period of 8 years.