Germany Reacts to Rahul Gandhi Disqualification for Lok Sabha

We expect that the standards of judicial independence and fundamental democratic principles will equally apply to the proceedings against Rahul Gandhi,” the German foreign ministry added. 

Rahul Gandhi

Opposition Leader Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification as a member of Parliament has not only made waves in India but also internationally. After US comments on the issue, Germany has also taken note.

The German foreign ministry today has released a statement saying ‘fundamental democratic principles’ should apply in the case of the Congress leader’s disqualification.

A spokesperson of the ministry said the Deutsch government had ‘taken note’ of the verdict by the Indian court and subsequent suspension of his ‘parliamentary mandate’.

“We have taken note of the verdict of first instance against the Indian opposition politician Rahul Gandhi as well as the suspension of his parliamentary mandate. To our knowledge, Mr Gandhi is in a position to appeal the verdict, ” said the spokesperson.

“It will then become clear whether this verdict will stand and whether the suspension of his mandate has any basis. We expect that the standards of judicial independence and fundamental democratic principles will equally apply to the proceedings against Rahul Gandhi,” the ministry added.

Notably, earlier this week, the US state department issued a statement saying Washington was ‘watching’ the matter whilst issuing a sermon on ‘democratic values’ to New Delhi.
“Respect for the rule of law and judicial independence is a cornerstone of any democracy. We are watching Mr Gandhi’s case in Indian courts and we engage with the Government of India on our shared commitment to democratic values, including freedom of expression,” said Vedant Patel, the US state department’s main deputy spokesperson.

Last week, a city court in the western Indian state of Gujarat convicted the Indian National Congress (INC) leader in a criminal defamation case for his alleged ‘Modi surname’ remarks.
The court sentenced Gandhi to two years in jail while imposing a fine of Rs 15,000 ($183), under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 499 (defamation), 500 (punishment for defamation).
After an appeal, his sentence was suspended and bail granted to move an appeal against the conviction in under 30 days. However, the very next day, the Indian parliament disqualified the Indian MP from Wayanad – a district in the southern Indian state of Kerala.

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June 2024
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