New Delhi, Mar 30 Germany after US has now commented on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s conviction by a court and his suspension from the Lok Sabha, saying it has taken note of the issue, and that it expects the standards of judicial independence and democratic principles to apply in the case.
Germany’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, in reference to the case, said:
“We have taken note of the first instance against 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, it will then become clear whether the 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 comment from Germany comes two days after the US said it is watching Rahul Gandhi’s case and that it engages with the Indian government on the commitment to democratic values and freedom of expression, following the Congress leader’s conviction by a court for his “Modi” surname comment and his disqualification from the Lok Sabha.
Indian-American State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel has said:
“Respect for the rule of law and judicial independence is a cornerstone of any democracy, and we’re watching Mr. Gandhi’s case in Indian courts, and we engage 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, we continue to highlight the importance of democratic principles and the protection of human rights, including freedom of expression, as a key to strengthening both our democracies,” Patel said.
Meanwhile, senior Congress MP Digvijaya Singh has thanked the German Foreign Affairs Ministry and Richard Walker, the chief international editor of DW News who tweeted the news, for “taking note of how Democracy is being compromised in India through the persecution of Rahul Gandhi”.
On March 23, Rahul Gandhi was sentenced to two years in jail by a Surat court in a 2019 criminal defamation case over his comment that “all thieves have the Modi surname”. Following his conviction and sentencing, he was also disqualified from the Lok Sabha and has been asked to vacate his official MP’s bungalow.
The Opposition has united to attack the Modi government over the issue.