Rahul Gandhi Returns: The Congress leader is back to the Parliament as Wayanad MP!

Three days after the Supreme Court has stayed Rahul Gandhi's conviction in a criminal defamation case, the Lok Sabha Secretariat has on Monday - August 7 announced that the Congress leader's membership in the lower house, that was revoked following his conviction, has been restored and that he is free to take part in the parliamentary proceedings. 

Rahul Gandhi will be back to the Lok Sabha as Wayanad MP and his comeback will be adding more strength and significance to the opposition parties to take on the BJP regime. It has been reported that Rahul Gandhi will attend the ongoing Parliament Monsoon Session at a high time when the lower house will be taking the no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, moved by the Congress party, for a debate.  

As Rahul Gandhi has got his MP post back, it has also been reported that he will be moving to the official bungalow from where he was asked to vacate following his suspension from the lower house. In an official communique announcing the restoration of Rahul Gandhi's membership, the Lok Sabha Secretariat said, "In continuation of Notification No 21/4(3)/2023/TO(B), dated the 24th March 2023, the Supreme Court of India has passed an order on 04.08.2023 in Special Leave to Appeal (Crl) No. 8644/2023, staying the conviction of Shri Rahul Gandhi, Member of Lok Sabha representing the Wayand Parliamentary Constituency of Kerala, which was ordered by the judgment dated 23.03.2023 of the Court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Surat in C.C/18712/2019."

"In view of order dated 04.08.2023 of the Supreme Court of India, the disqualification of Shri Rahul Gandhi, notified vide Gazette Notification no. 21/4(3)/2023/TO(B) dated the 24th 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, has ceased to operate subject to further judicial pronouncements", the notification added.

Rahul Gandhi was convicted in a criminal defamation case that was lodged in connection to his 'Modi' remark that he made in 2019. While speaking in an election rally in Karnataka's Kolar in 2019, Rahul Gandhi asked, 'How come all the thieves have Modi as a common surname?'. He had referred to the economic fugitives Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

However, former Gujarat Minister Purnesh Modi has lodged a criminal defamation case accusing Rahul Gandhi of defaming the entire Modi community. The case was heard by a Surat Court in Gujarat and earlier this March, the court found Rahul Gandhi guilty in the case and awarded him a two-year imprisonment. Though the prison sentence was suspended to let the Congress leader go for an appeal, the conviction wasn't stayed due to which his Lok Sabha membership was revoked under the Representation of the People Act, 1951. 

In Rahul Gandhi's case, the BJP government's machinery had swiftly swung into action of revoking his Lok Sabha membership a day after the verdict was delivered and soon, Rahul Gandhi was asked to vacate the bungalow. Abiding by the rules, he moved out of a bungalow and when the unprecedented verdict of providing two years prison for a defamation has sparked a debate, the Congress leader had waged a legal battle to stay the conviction. 

The Election Commission had declared Wayanad constituency vacant and Rahul Gandhi had endured a legal setback as no relief was granted for him by a sessions court and the Gujarat High Court. The Congress leader had finally moved his appeal to the Supreme Court. After hearing his plea, the three-judge bench of the apex court had on August 4 stayed his conviction and observed that the trial court in Gujarat had given no proper reason to award the maximum sentence. As the Congress celebrated the verdict, Rahul Gandhi wrote on social media, "Come what may, my duty remains the same. Protect the idea of India."