Days after the Supreme Court stayed the conviction of Rahul Gandhi in the 2019 'Modi surname' case, the Congress MP was reinstated in the Parliament on Monday. Gandhi was sentenced to two years in jail in the defamation case that automatically revoked his parliamentary membership. According to several reports, all the necessary paperwork for reinstating Gandhi was ready, all it required was a sign from the Speaker.
Lok Sabha Secretariat restores membership of Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi after the Supreme Court on Friday (August 4) stayed his conviction in the ‘Modi’ surname remark case.— ANI (@ANI) August 7, 2023
He was disqualified from the lower house in March 2023. pic.twitter.com/UBE3FvCGEN
Earlier in the day, the Congress said that they would take the matter to the court if the process of restoring him was delayed by the Speaker.
Celebrations followed after the Wayand MP was restored in the Lok Sabha.
On the restoration of Gandhi's Lok Sabha membership, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi says, "Speaker took the decision today. We followed the legal process and immediately after receiving the Supreme Court's order, we restored it..."
#WATCH | On restoration of Rahul Gandhi's Lok Sabha membership, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi says, "Speaker took the decision today. We followed the legal process and immediately after receiving the Supreme Court's order, we restored it..." pic.twitter.com/d1DtIODUoi— ANI (@ANI) August 7, 2023
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Saturday said he had sent all documents pertaining to the revocation of Rahul Gandhi's disqualification from Lok Sabha to the Speaker and his membership should be restored immediately. The Congress further said that the process of reinstating him should be conducted at the same pace at which the Speaker disqualified him as an MP.
However, in certain cases, the reinstatement of a leader might take some time. For instance, the restoration of Lakshadweep MP PP Mohammed Faizal, a member of the Nationalist Congress Party, the restoration had taken over a month despite the Kerala High Court order freezing his sentence earlier this year.
The SC judgment has been hailed a "victory for truth" by Congress leaders, who have been eagerly awaiting Rahul Gandhi's reinstatement. Rahul Gandhi, who has consistently refused to apologise for his comments, expressed his commitment to protecting the "idea of India", regardless of the circumstances.
However, the return of Gandhi has already invited criticism from the BJP, which has said Gandhi was on "thin ice" due to the numerous cases pending against him.
What was the defamation case?
In 2019, Former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi filed a criminal defamation case against Rahul Gandhi over his "How come all thieves have Modi as the common surname?" Gandhi made this remark during an election rally in Kolar in Karnataka on April 13, 2019.
Following this, a Gujarat Court on March 23, early this year, convicted Gandhi and sentenced him to two years in prison. The next day, he was disqualified as an MP.
The Congress leader then challenged that order in a sessions court along with a request to pause his conviction. While the sessions court granted him bail on April 20 and agreed to hear his challenge, it refused to stay the conviction. On July 15, filed a plea in the Supreme Court challenging the HC's order and on August 4, the apex court stayed his conviction.