After his conviction and sentencing for two years imprisonment in a defamation case by a magisterial court in Surat on Thursday, the question about whether Congress MP Rahul Gandhi will be disqualified from Parliament has risen.

While Gandhi has been given 30 days time to appeal against the conviction, the BJP said it was up to the Lok Sabha Speaker to take a decision.

Gandhi was given bail in the matter and his sentence was stayed for 30 days to allow him to approach the higher courts. The Congress MP was convicted for a speech in Kolar in which he was accused of making a defamatory remark about people with the surname Modi.

What the law says

According to Section 8(3) of the Representation of People’s Act, “disqualification of a person convicted of any offence and sentenced to imprisonment for not less than two years shall not, in the case of a person who on the date of the conviction is a Member of Parliament or the Legislature of a State, take effect until three months have elapsed from that date or, if within that period an appeal or application for revision is brought in respect of the conviction or the sentence, until that appeal or application is disposed of by the court”.

Senior lawyer and Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the court order has just been passed and it is only fair that Rahul Gandhi be given time to appeal.

“As far as the BJP is concerned, Rahul Gandhi is not allowed to speak in Parliament in any case. So as far as the case is concerned, it would be appealed against and we are fairly certain of getting a fair order. We are certain that the conviction will be stayed,” said Singhvi.

Ravi Shankar Prasad of the BJP said, “It is a matter for the Speaker to decide.”