Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has been disqualified as a Member of Parliament from the Lok Sabha after he was sentenced to two years in jail in a criminal defamation case by a Surat court on Thursday.
“Shri Rahul Gandhi, Member of Lok Sabha representing the Wayanad Parliamentary Constituency of Kerala stands disqualified from the membership of Lok Sabha from the date of his conviction i.e. 23 March, 2023 in terms of the provisions of Article 102(1)(e) of the Constitution of India read with Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951,” the Lok Sabha secretariat said in a notification issued today.
The Congress party termed the verdict as erroneous while senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said it bodes ill for democracy.
“I’m stunned by this action and by its rapidity, within 24 hours of the court verdict and while an appeal was known to be in process. This is politics with the gloves off and it bodes ill for our democracy,” he tweeted.
Congress members held protests in some parts of the country on Friday against Gandhi’s conviction and two-year-old jail sentence.
As per a Supreme Court order in 2013, a convicted MP, MLA or MLC stands disqualified from the date of his conviction and shall be barred from contesting elections for six years after the conclusion of his/her sentence.
The Congress led opposition leaders in a protest march amid heavy security presence in the Vijay Chowk area outside Parliament. Opposition leaders carried a large banner that read “Democracy in danger”.