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‘Expect Judicial Independence’: Germany Reacts To Rahul Gandhi’s Disqualification As MP

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New Delhi: Germany on Thursday said that it has taken note of the verdict of the first instance of suspension from Parliament of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

“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,” a German Foreign Ministry spokesperson said during a press briefing.

“Appeal will show whether verdict stands & suspension has a basis. We expect standards of judicial independence & democratic principles to be applied,” German Foreign Ministry spokesperson Annalena Baerbock said.

“It will then become clear whether this verdict will stand and whether the suspension of his mandate has any basis,” the spokesperson added according to a video of the broadcast which was posted on Twitter by Richard Walkar the Chief International Editor of DW based in Berlin.

Germany “expects that the standards of judicial independence and fundamental democratic principles will apply in the case,” she said.

Later, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh thanked the German Foreign Affairs Ministry and Richard Walker for “taking note of how Democracy is being compromised in India through the persecution of Rahul Gandhi”.

Earlier this week US Department of State Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said that the US is watching Rahul Gandhi’s case in Indian courts.

“Respect for the rule of law and judicial independence is a cornerstone of any democracy, and we’re watching Mr Gandhi’s (Rahul Gandhi) case in Indian courts,” he said addressing a press briefing in Washnigton.

Patel, responding to a question on Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification as an MP said that the US engages with the Indian government on a shared commitment to democratic values, including freedom of expression.

“The US engages with the government of India on our shared commitment to democratic values, including of course freedom of expression in our engagements with our Indian partners,” Patel had said.

On March 23, Rahul Gandhi was convicted by a Surat disctrict court and sentenced to two years imprisonment in the 2019 defamation case over his ‘Modi surname’ remark made in 2019 during an election rally in Karnataka.

The criminal defamation case against Rahul Gandhi was filed by BJP MLA from Surat West Purnesh Modi.

After being convicted by the court, Rahul Gandhi was disqualified from the Lok Sabha.

The sentence of two-year imprisonment has been suspended for 30 days before which Rahul Gandhi has to appeal against the conviction.

Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification from Lok Sabha triggered a massive political row with the BJP stating that the Congress leader was “a habitual loose cannon” and the Congress alleging that he was got “deliberately disqualified”.

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