The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned a PIL challenging the restoration of Lok Sabha membership of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who was disqualified after a court sentenced him to two years’ imprisonment in a criminal defamation case over ‘Modi surname’ remark.
A bench of Justices BR Gavai and PS Narasimha adjourned the hearing in view of a letter seeking adjournment of the case.
Gandhi was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment which disqualified him as an MP from Kerala’s Wayanad under the rigours of the Representation of People Act. Supreme Court later stayed his convicted and thereafter his Lok Sabha membership was restored.
Lucknow-based advocate Pandey moved the top court seeking a quashing of the notification of Lok Sabha by which Gandhi’s membership was restored.
Pandey said that once Gandhi lost his Lok Sabha membership, after being convicted in a criminal defamation case and was awarded two years of imprisonment, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha was not right to restore his lost membership.
The plea submitted that once a member of Parliament or a state legislature loses his office by operation of Law in Article 102, 191 of the Constitution read with section 8 (3) of the Representation of People Act 1951, he will continue to be disqualified till he is acquitted from the charges levelled against him by some higher court.

“Rahul Gandhi lost his membership of Lok Sabha when he was convicted for defamation and was awarded a year sentence and as such the Speaker was not right to restore his membership,” the plea stated.
on July 7 the Gujarat High Court affirmed the decision of a Gujarat Sessions court, which had refused to put on hold a magisterial court order on March 23 convicting Gandhi and handing out the maximum punishment provided for criminal defamation under the Indian Penal Code.
Rejecting Gandhi’s plea, the High Court had said that he had been seeking a stay on his conviction on “absolutely non-existent grounds” and that a stay on conviction is not a rule but an exception.
In March, the magisterial court had convicted Gandhi for his remarks ahead of the 2019 national polls about the ‘Modi’ surname.
After the magisterial court convicted Gandhi, he approached the Sessions court, which rejected his plea for a stay on his conviction on April 20. Thereafter, he approached the High Court. He later approached the apex court for relief.
Congress leader was sentenced to two years in jail on March 23 under sections 499 and 500 (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in a case filed by Purnesh Modi.
At a rally in Karnataka’s Kolar in April 2019, Rahul Gandhi, in a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said, “How come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?” (ANI)