SC issues notice against Gujarat HC order denying stay on conviction of Rahul Gandhi

21 July, 2023 | Don Tomslee

Rahul Gandhi National

SC has further scheduled a hearing on the question of Rahul Gandhi's conviction's stay for August 4.

Supreme Court on Friday sent notifications to the Gujarati government and the complainant in response to Congressman Rahul Gandhi’s appeal questioning the Gujarat High Court’s decision.
The Gujarat High Court had earlier denied in its judgement to suspend his conviction in the criminal defamation case in which he was given a two-year prison sentence by the Surat court for making a joke about the “Modi surname.”

Rahul Gandhi had poked fun at Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a rally in Kolar, Karnataka, in April 2019 by asking, “How come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?”

Both parties given 10 days to submit affidavit for Rahul Gandhi’s Defamation case

The parties were given ten days to submit their affidavit submissions to a bench led by Justice BR Gavai. SC has scheduled a hearing on the question of his conviction’s stay for August 4.
Justice Gavai offered to withdraw himself from the matter during the hearing, citing a relationship between his father and brother.

Both parties asserted that they have no issues with Justice Gavai hearing the case. Rahul Gandhi was ruled ineligible to serve as an MP for Kerala’s Wayanad on March 24 after being found guilty in the case as per response from the Lok Sabha Secretariat.

Rahul Gandhi received a two-year jail sentence, which made him ineligible to serve as an MP under the terms of the Representation of People Act.

Rahul Gandhi also asked the highest court to halt the Gujarat High Court’s decision upholding his conviction. He said that the High Court decision “has no parallel or precedent in the jurisprudence of the law of defamation”.
He said that the fact that all previous occurrences, including the one involving the present speech, were “not only curious but extremely significant, in fact sinister,”

It was argued that the surname “Modi” spanned several groups and sub-communities across the nation, most of which lack any kind of identity or consistency. Different castes were represented by the Modi surname.

The petition submitted to the supreme court further stated that the complainant, who just bears the surname “Modi,” failed to establish that he had been prejudiced or otherwise harmed in any particular or private way. Gandhi argued that a maximum term of two years had been issued in a criminal defamation case, which was unprecedented. This particular incident is quite uncommon.

The Gujarat Sessions court’s judgement that Rahul Gandhi had been found guilty and given a sentence on March 23 by a magistrate court was upheld by the High Court on July 7. Rahul Gandhi was found guilty in March by the magisterial court for his comments on the surname “Modi” made prior to the 2019 presidential election.

Gandhi sought help from the Sessions court after being found guilty by a magisterial court, but on April 20 the court refused his request for a stay of his sentence. After that, he went to the High Court.
On March 23, a Congress politician was found guilty of violating sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) (defamation) and given a two-year prison term. Purnesh Modi brought the case.