LS Speaker likely to take call on Rahul’s membership restoration on Aug 7
Come August 7, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla will have to take two significant decisions. One pertains to restoring Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s membership, and the other on the possible disqualification of BJP MP Ram Shankar Katheria, who has been sentenced by a special MP/MLA court to two years of imprisonment in an old case of rioting and causing hurt.
New Delhi: Come August 7, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla will have to take two significant decisions. One pertains to restoring Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s membership, and the other on the possible disqualification of BJP MP Ram Shankar Katheria, who has been sentenced by a special MP/MLA court to two years of imprisonment in an old case of rioting and causing hurt.
The Supreme Court on August 4, had stayed the conviction of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in a defamation case against him, thus paving the way for restoration of his Lok Sabha membership.
According to sources, Birla’s office has received the Supreme Court’s orders and he is likely to take a call on restoration of Gandhi’s membership on Monday, i.e. on August 7.
Meanwhile, with a special MP/MLA court in Agra district on August 5, having sentenced Katheria, BJP MP from Etawah, to two years of imprisonment in a 12-year-old case, the Speaker is also likely to take a call on his possible disqualification, on Monday.
The Congress is keen that Rahul Gandhi’s Lok Sabha membership is restored by Monday at the earliest, which would pave the way for his participation in the no-confidence motion discussion, which is to begin on August 8, and continue till August 10, over a duration of 12 hours.
The documents pertaining to the Supreme Court’s order in Gandhi’s case have been received by the Speaker’s office, sources said.
At the same time, Katheria was convicted under IPC sections 147 (rioting) and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt). The court also imposed a penalty of Rs 50,000 on the former union minister.
Katheria faces possible disqualification, as the law mandates it in case of imprisonment of two or more years under Representation of People Act, 1951 and also barred from contesting elections for the next six years.
Incidentally, Katheria served as the minister of state in the HRD ministry during the first term of the Narendra Modi government, between November 2014 and July 2016.
He was also the chairperson of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, and is currently a member of Parliament’s standing committee on defence and also of the consultative committee, ministry of home affairs.
In the case of Rahul Gandhi, the Supreme Court on August 4 stayed his conviction in a defamation case against him.
A Surat court had earlier found him guilty and handed him the maximum sentence of two years’ imprisonment – leading to his disqualification from the Lok Sabha.
The Gujarat High Court had refused to stay the conviction, after which Rahul Gandhi had appealed in the Supreme Court.