India's parliament reinstates membership of opposition leader Rahul Gandhi

India's parliament reinstates membership of opposition leader Rahul Gandhi

Notification issued after top court last week suspended Gandhi's conviction in criminal defamation case

By Anadolu staff

ANKARA (AA) - The Indian Parliament on Monday restored the membership of main opposition leader Rahul Gandhi, a few days after the Supreme Court stayed his conviction in a criminal defamation case.

"In view of order dated 04.08.2023 of the Supreme Court of India, the disqualification of Shri Rahul Gandhi...has ceased to operate subject to further judicial pronouncement," said a notification issued by Lok Sabha Secretariat or the lower house of India's parliament on Monday morning.

India’s Supreme Court last week stayed the conviction of Gandhi in a criminal defamation case.

Gandhi, 53, whose jail term was put on hold and who was granted bail, is a scion of a political dynasty that has given India three prime ministers.

Gandhi was sentenced to two years in prison and disqualified in March in a case by a lawmaker from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Lower courts and the high court in Gujarat state, also ruled by the BJP, had rejected appeals to suspend the sentence.

Mallikarjun Kharge, president of the main opposition Congress party, said that the decision to reinstate Gandhi as an MP is a "welcome step."

"It brings relief to the people of India, and especially to Wayanad (parliament constituency). Whatever time is left of their tenure, BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) and (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi government should utilise that by concentrating on actual governance rather than denigrating Democracy by targeting opposition leaders," he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.​​​​​​​

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