Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification case a litmus test for the Indian judiciary, says Congress 

Rahul Gandhi’s conviction and disqualification from the Lok Sabha is deeply flawed in law, says Congress leader Anand Sharma

April 12, 2023 10:35 pm | Updated April 13, 2023 07:23 am IST - New Delhi

Congress leader Anand Sharma addresses a press conference at AICC HQ in New Delhi, on April 12, 2023

Congress leader Anand Sharma addresses a press conference at AICC HQ in New Delhi, on April 12, 2023 | Photo Credit: PTI

Rahul Gandhi’s conviction and disqualification from the Lok Sabha is “deeply flawed” in law and is a “litmus test” for the Indian judiciary, Congress leader Anand Sharma said on April 12 as he expressed hope “it will be corrected”.

A sessions court in Surat is scheduled to hear Mr. Gandhi’s appeal on Thursday for a stay on his conviction in the criminal defamation case that led to his disqualification from the Lok Sabha.

Addressing a press conference at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters here, Mr. Sharma said if the same yardstick were to be applied to every politician, then “India’s Parliament would have been hollowed out”.

Also read | Making sense of the disqualification of a Lok Sabha MP

“Most major leaders of political parties would have been out of Parliament for decades. That has not happened,” he said.

“This will be a litmus test for the Indian judiciary too. I have no doubt that what is wrong will be corrected, a flawed decision in law will be reversed and I say that of my understanding in law and Constitution,” he said.

Mr. Gandhi, who was disqualified as an MP on March 23, has been asked by the Lok Sabha Secretariat to vacate his official bungalow on Tughlaq Road by April 22.

Asked about how Mr. Sharma continued to occupy a government bungalow while Mr. Gandhi had been asked to vacate his official bungalow, he asserted that he had not flouted rules and regulations and he was paying the market rent to stay in the residence.

Apart from attacking the Narendra Modi government over its handling of the economy, the senior Congress leader said that India’s democracy was made “dysfunctional not by default but by design”.

He said while Prime Minister Narendra Modi was celebrating the new Parliament building, democracy was shrinking in the largest democracy of the world.

“I have not seen any major democracy in the world obsessed with a new building of Parliament when the House doesn’t function...,” he said.

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