New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday cleared the way for the reinstatement of Rahul Gandhi’s membership of the Lok Sabha, staying his conviction in a criminal defamation case lodged in 2019 in connection with his alleged controversial remarks about the ‘Modi surname’. However, the relief granted by the apex court also came with a warning for the Congress leader. The Supreme Court bench said, “Rahul Gandhi should have been more careful while making the alleged remarks.”
Live Law quoted Justice BR Gavai as saying, ‘There is no doubt that a person in public life is expected to exercise caution while making public speeches. As observed by this court while accepting his affidavit in the contempt petition, he should have been more careful.
A three-judge bench comprising Justice BR Gavai, Justice PS Narasimha, and Justice Sanjay Kumar said, “No reason has been shown by the trial court judge to impose the maximum sentence, therefore, stay the order of conviction till the final decision.” Is required.’
With Rahul Gandhi’s conviction stayed, the Lok Sabha Speaker can now restore his membership or Rahul Gandhi can appeal to restore his membership as an MP given the apex court’s order. Congress leader in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary met the Lok Sabha Speaker on Friday and urged him to restore Rahul Gandhi’s membership.
The Gujarat High Court had dismissed his plea seeking a stay on the Congress leader’s conviction in a defamation case related to the ‘Modi surname’. On 13 April 2019, former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi filed a criminal defamation case against Rahul for his alleged controversial remarks regarding the ‘Modi surname’ at an election meeting in Kolar, Karnataka. Rahul remarked in the meeting that ‘how can all thieves have only one surname, Modi’.