Home/ News / Congress loses PM face, Rahul Gandhi's political career in jeopardy: What can he do next?

Rahul Gandhi has been disqualified from his position after being convicted and sentenced in a 2019 defamation case by a court in Gujarat. While some legal experts had previously suggested that Gandhi's disqualification would be automatic upon conviction, others had argued that it could be staved off if the conviction was overturned. Here's a deeper look into the matter. 

What does the court's decision mean? 

The court's decision meant that he was at risk of automatic disqualification as an MP under the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

Section 8(3) of the Act stipulates that if an MP is convicted of any offence and sentenced for at least two years, they are automatically disqualified from their position. The Lok Sabha Secretariat has now disqualified Rahul Gandhi and declared his constituency vacant. The Election Commission can announce a special election for the seat, and Gandhi may also be required to vacate his government bungalow in central Delhi.

What's next for Rahul Gandhi? 

Although the Congress leader was granted bail and his sentence was suspended for 30 days to allow him to appeal the decision, he remains at risk of disqualification. Legal experts have suggested that the disqualification could be avoided if he manages to get his conviction overturned in a higher court. 

Former union law minister Kapil Sibal, also a senior advocate formerly with the Congress, has suggested that Mr. Gandhi stands automatically disqualified as an MP with his two-year jail sentence.

"If it (the court) only suspends the sentence, that's not enough. There has to be a suspension or stay of conviction. He (Rahul Gandhi) can stay on as a member of parliament only if there is a stay on the conviction," Mr Sibal told NDTV.

Congress leaders have questioned the legality of the decision and stated that they intend to challenge the verdict in a higher court.

Congress spokesperson Jairam Ramesh said, We will fight this battle both legally and politically. We are not going to be afraid or silent. Instead of the JPC, Rahul Gandhi has been disqualified in the Adani scam related to the Prime Minister.

Adding to that, the Congress president said, "We'll continue to demand JPC, If needed we'll go to jail to save democracy."



Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Updated: 24 Mar 2023, 03:07 PM IST
Recommended For You
Get alerts on WhatsApp
Set Preferences My Reads Watchlist Feedback Redeem a Gift Card Logout