India’s top court suspends Rahul Gandhi’s defamation conviction


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court of India on Friday suspended opposition Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi’s conviction in a defamation case, an order that will allow him to return to parliament and contest national elections due next year.

Gandhi was convicted in March in a case brought by a lawmaker from the western state of Gujarat belonging to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), over comments he made in 2019 deemed insulting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other people surnamed Modi, including the lawmaker.

Gandhi, 53, scion of a dynasty that has given India three prime ministers, was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment but the jail term was put on hold and he was granted bail.

He also lost his parliamentary seat following the conviction, since lawmakers sentenced to jail terms of two years or more are automatically disqualified.

Lower courts and the high court in Gujarat had rejected appeals by Gandhi to suspend the conviction, causing him to appeal to the Supreme Court.__Pakistan Today