After the disqualification of former Congress President Rahul Gandhi as a member of the Parliament, the speculations have been increased about the announcement of bypoll to Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency by Election Commission. According to the Section 151A of the Representation of the People Act, 2015, bypolls to vacant Parliament and state legislature seats must take place within six months from the date when they fell vacant.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was disqualified as a Member of Lok Sabha from the date of his conviction in the criminal defamation case over his remarks about the surname of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019. The Lok Sabha Secretariat, issued a notification giving the information.
A plea has been filed today before the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of Section 8(3) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. The Plea seeks not to automatically disqualify any legislator from the parliament or State assembly upon conviction in a criminal case. According to the plea Section 8(3) is in stark contradiction to sub-section (1) of the Section 8, Section 8A, 9, 9A, 10 and 10A and 11 of the 1951 Act.
The Representation of the People Act, 1951 lays down automatic disqualification of a legislator from the parliament or State assembly upon conviction in a criminal case.
The petition assumes significance in light of the fact that it has been filed at a time when Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has been disqualified from the Lok Sabha after a Surat court verdict which held him guilty of criminal defamation and sentenced him to two years in prison.