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    Experts confirm that Rahul can retain his MP status if conviction is stayed

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    Legal experts have stated that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will not be disqualified as a member of parliament if the appellate court stays his conviction and suspends the two-year jail term awarded to him by a Surat court in a 2019 criminal defamation case over his alleged “Modi surname” remarks. Senior lawyer and constitutional law expert Rakesh Dwivedi referred to the apex court’s 2013 and 2018 judgments in the Lily Thomas and the Lok Prahari matters respectively, stating that suspension of sentence and stay of conviction were necessary to escape disqualification as a lawmaker under the Representation of the People (RP) Act. A former senior official of the Election Commission and an expert on electoral laws stated that to prevent being disqualified as a lawmaker, Gandhi also needs to get his conviction stayed. The disqualification period begins as soon as the sentence is announced, and if the appellate court stays the conviction and the sentence, then the disqualification will remain suspended. Disqualification arises out of sentence, not conviction alone.

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    Rajesh M
    Rajesh M
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