The district court here on Monday suspended the conviction and two-year jail sentence to BJP MLA Mahsi Sureshwar Singh in a 21-year-old case, citing the relief granted by the Supreme Court to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in August last year.
On Thursday, Sureshwar Singh was convicted for threatening a Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) in 2002. He was sentenced to two years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 2,500 was imposed on him.
District Judge Utkarsh Chaturvedi on Monday stayed the conviction and sentence awarded to Sureshwar Singh by the MP-MLA court, pending his appeal in the case, senior counsel Brijpal Singh, who represented the MLA, told PTI.
“In its order, the court has cited the relief given to MP Rahul Gandhi by the Supreme Court last year in the case of Rahul Gandhi against Purnesh Ishwar Bhai Modi,” he said.
The Supreme Court had stayed Rahul Gandhi’s conviction in a defamation case for his 2019 ‘Modi surname’ remarks at a rally, paving the way for the restoration of Lok Sabha membership.
A bench of Justices B R Gavai, P S Narasimha, and Sanjay Kumar had said the trial court had not given any reason for awarding him the maximum sentence of two years, which led to his disqualification as an MP under Section 8(3) of Representation of People Act.
The district note cited the Supreme Court’s observation: “We are of the considered view that the ramification of sub-section (3) of Section 8 of the Representation of People Act is wide-ranging. They not only affect the right of the appellant to continue in public life but also affect the right of the electorate.” The courts also noted that the “MLA’s parents were also public representatives. He has not been convicted in any case and he has not misused his bail”, the lawyer said.
According to the prosecution, on September 2, 2002, Mahsi SDM Lal Mani Mishra had registered a case against the MLA at Hardi police station.
He had alleged that Sureshwar Singh had entered the SDM office and created obstruction in the government work, misbehaved and threatened the SDM.
Under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act (RPA) 1951, any public representative sentenced to imprisonment of two years or more is disqualified from the date of sentence and is barred from contesting elections for the next six years after serving the sentence
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