The Congress will appeal against this decision of a Surat court in the High Court. On March 23, a Surat court in Gujarat sentenced Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to two years in prison in a 2019 criminal defamation case filed against him for his alleged ‘Modi surname’ remark. After this he was disqualified from the Lok Sabha.
New Delhi: A Surat sessions court on Thursday (April 20) dismissed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s plea to stay his conviction and two-year sentence in the ‘Modi surname’ defamation case.
The case is based on a complaint filed by BJP MLA and former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi, which pertains to a speech by Rahul Gandhi in Kolar, Karnataka in 2019.
Rahul Gandhi had reportedly said during the rally, ‘All thieves, be it Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi or Narendra Modi, why they have Modi in their names.’
In this regard, a case was registered by Purnesh Modi on April 13, 2019. He said that Rahul Gandhi has defamed all those people whose surname is ‘Modi’.
Had the Surat court accepted Rahul Gandhi’s plea today, the Lok Sabha Secretariat would have had to restore his membership in the House.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said that the party will appeal in the High Court after considering all available legal options. Congress leader and senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi will brief the media about the future legal steps of the party on Thursday evening.
Rahul Gandhi’s appeal came up for hearing in the sessions court before Judge Robin Mogera. As reported by The Wire, Judge Mogera had served as counsel for BJP leader and now Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter case. Given the political importance of the matter, it is possible that questions of conflict of interest may be raised after the 2024 general elections.
On March 23, a Surat court sentenced Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to two years in prison in a 2019 criminal defamation case filed against him for his alleged ‘Modi surname’ remark.
However, shortly thereafter, the court granted Rahul Gandhi bail on a surety of Rs 15,000 and stayed the sentence for 30 days to allow him to appeal against it.
According to Section 8(3) of the Representation of the People Act-1951, if an MP is convicted of an offense and sentenced to a minimum of two years’ imprisonment, he will be eligible for disqualification.
Finding him guilty, the judge had said that Rahul Gandhi had insulted all persons with Modi surname for his political interest.
Rahul Gandhi was disqualified from the Lok Sabha on March 24, the day after his conviction. In a notification issued by the Lok Sabha Secretariat, it was said that Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi has been disqualified from March 23, 2023. After this, he also got a notice to vacate his government bungalow.
Rahul is also facing another defamation case in Patna based on the same speech, based on a complaint filed by BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has denied the allegations that his speech was defamatory. He had said that it could appear derogatory if taken completely out of context. The Congress has claimed that the conviction has come at a time when Rahul was continuously making allegations against the Adani group in Parliament. The party has said that this was the BJP’s way of trying to silence him.
The political fallout of Rahul’s conviction and disqualification has been so strong that Congress rivals such as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) have also come together on a common platform to protest against the central government. But have come together.
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Categories: Politics Special