According to a noted lawyer and BJP MP, Mahesh Jethmalani, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s conviction in a defamation case involving his remarks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi disqualifies him from parliament under a Supreme Court judgment of 2013. The judgment stipulated that any member of parliament, legislative assembly, or legislative council who is convicted of a crime and given a minimum of two years in jail loses membership of the House with immediate effect. The court had also scrapped the Section 8(4) of the Representation of the People Act, which allowed elected representatives three months to appeal against their conviction, calling it “unconstitutional”. The Manmohan Singh government had brought in an Ordinance against the judgment, but Mr Gandhi had trashed it. Critics had portrayed the move as a means to protect Congress ally Lalu Yadav, who was being tried in the fodder scam. Mr Jethmalani said Mr Gandhi can only stay in parliament only if a higher court puts a freeze on the trial court judgment, as happened in a few earlier cases. The BJP has been demanding Mr Gandhi’s disqualification since early this year, initially over his comments on the Hindenburg-Adani issue, and later over his comments at the Cambridge University, which the party contended were anti-national.