Rahul Gandhi convicted: Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi was convicted and sentenced to 2 years in jail on Thursday by a Surat court in a criminal defamation case filed in 2019 over his remarks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's surname. Gandhi, however, was granted bail and given 30-day time to appeal against the court's verdict.
The sentence means Rahul Gandhi may lose his Parliament membership as per a law. Incidentally, Rahul Gandhi, in 2013, had trashed the Congress-led UPA government's Ordinance that sought to protect convicted leaders like Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Yadav from disqualification.
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When Rahul Gandhi tore Ordinance during press conference
On September 27, 2013, Rahul Gandhi, who was then Congress vice-president, was addressing a press conference along with senior party leader Ajay Maken and others. In what left the Congress red-faced, Rahul Gandhi described the Ordinace as 'complete nonsense that should be torn up and thrown away'. "There's a time to stop this nonsense... if we want to fight corruption, these small compromises cannot be made. It's time all political parties stopped making these compromises," Rahul Gandhi said and went on to tear a copy of the Ordinance, which was pending President's approval, infront of a battery of media persons. The then PM Manmohan Singh was in the US and was scheduled to meet Barack Obama hours after this incident.
WATCH: When Rahul Gandhi trashed Ordinance
Manmohan Govt withdrew Ordinance
Days after Rahul Gandhi's 'antics', the Manhoman Singh government withdrew the Ordinance and the Bill. In October 2013, Lalu Yadav was disqualified as a member of Lok Sabha after the former Bihar CM was convicted in a case linked to multi-crore fodder scam. The ruling ended his political career as he was disqualified from contesting elections too. More recently, Samajwadi Party leader lost the Rampur seat after being sentenced in a 2019 hate speech case.
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MPs, MLAs and MLCs lose their membership if they are sentenced to two years in jail or more. They cannot even contest elections for six years, as per the Representation of the People Act of 1951.