Rahul said, “sooner or later, the truth prevails. However, there is total clarity in my mind… come what may, my duty remains the same — protect the idea of India.” He also thanked the people for their support.
Rahul and Kharge made a brief appearance at a press conference at the party headquarters, which included AICC general secretaries K C Venugopal, Jairam Ramesh, and lawyer-spokesman Abhishek Singhvi.
But even as the Gandhi scion limited his words to gratitude, an exuberant Kharge called the court order a victory of democracy and the common man. “It shows that the Constitution still exists, and one can still get justice,” he said.
Kharge added, “Rahul’s disqualification came within 24 hours of his conviction, and now we will see how soon he is reinstated, whether it happens tonight or when.”
Singhvi said the judgment was a victory for Rahul’s philosophy of “daro mat”, caustically adding that BJP should now rein in, if not shut down, its dirty tricks department that is deployed to use flimsy reasons to target the opposition leaders.
Singhvi said the Supreme Court has knocked the bottom out of the conviction orders of the Gujarat sessions court and high court, which had made conclusions that flew in the face of legal principles.
He said the judgment argued that an entire community of 13 crore people was defamed. But it also added the community had 10 subcastes and they were not the same, but any one of the 13 crore could file for defamation.
Singhvi expressed surprise that an entire para in the HC judgment called the offence “moral turpitude and extremely serious”, when the fact is that the offence is bailable, non-cognisable, compoundable, and carries a maximum sentence of two years.
The top lawyer said all the 13 cases against Rahul are by BJP workers, wondering how only one party is offended by him. He said the court had called Rahul a habitual offender on the basis of these cases.
“The former president of a 138-year-old party was disqualified from Parliament on such a perverse order, but he reposed his faith in the rule of law, and went through every forum with unwavering faith in judicial process,” he said.
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