The Gujarat high court on Tuesday declined to temporarily suspend Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s conviction in a criminal defamation case over his “Modi surname” remark in which he was sentenced to two years in jail by a Surat court.
“There is no interim protection. The matter will be decided once the court reopens after vacation,” said Justice Hemant Prachchhak. May 5 is the last working day for the Gujarat high court. It will reopen on June 5.
Gandhi’s counsel had requested an interim order. His conviction by a Surat court led to his disqualification from Parliament. A stay on the conviction could pave the way for Gandhi’s reinstatement as a Lok Sabha member.
The law states that if a member is convicted of any offence for two or more years of imprisonment, he will be disqualified as an MP. One can only stay in Parliament if the conviction is suspended.
The arguments were reserved after hearing senior advocate Nirupam Nanvaty, who represented complainant Purnesh Modi, a Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Gujarat, and senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, who represented Gandhi.