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Judiciary

SC dismisses plea challenging restoration of Rahul Gandhi’s Lok Sabha membership with Rs one lakh

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      19 January, 2024 03:53 PM      0 Comments
SC dismisses plea challenging restoration of Rahul Gandhi’s Lok Sabha membership with Rs one lakh

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a plea for quashing August 7, 2023 notification restoring the Lok Sabha membership of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with Rs one lakh as cost.

Finding the petition by Lucknow based advocate Ashok Pandey as "frivolous", a bench of Justices B R Gavai and Sandeep Mehta said petitions of such nature meant to only waste the precious time of the court and also of the entire Supreme Court registry.

Rahul's membership was revived in August, last year after the apex court's order staying his conviction in a 2019 criminal defamation case relating to ‘Modi’ surname.

The bench noted that the court had in October 2023, dismissed a similar PIL by advocate-petitioner Ashok Pandey while imposing Rs one lakh cost on him for challenging the restoration of Lok Sabha membership of the Nationalist Congress Party leader Mohammed Faizal.

In the instant plea, Pandey claimed that the disqualification based on conviction and sentence will continue to operate till it is set aside in appeal.

He also sought a direction to the Election Commission to notify the vacancy of the Wayanad Parliament seat being held by Gandhi and holding fresh elections there.

The bench said every petition needs to go through multiple verification exercises in the court registry.

It said that exemplary cost ought to be imposed on such a petition to deter litigants from misusing the jurisdiction of public interest litigation (PIL).

In August last year, the top court restored Rahul Gandhi’s membership of Parliament, which he had lost because of the two-year-jail term in the 2019 criminal defamation case.

The court had then stayed the Congress leader’s conviction on the grounds that the trial judge failed to explain why Gandhi deserved the maximum punishment under the law. The bench had said that continuation of Gandhi’s disqualification would deprive the people of his constituency of a proper representation in Parliament.



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