Surat court dismisses Rahul Gandhi’s appeal for stay on conviction in defamation case
20 April, 2023 | Pragati Singh
Former Wayanad MP will now have to appeal the Surat court's decision to the Gujarat High Court or the Supreme Court.
A Surat court on Thursday dismissed Rahul Gandhi’s application, in which the Congress leader sought a stay of his conviction in the 2019 criminal defamation case based on the remark “Modi surname.” Former Wayanad MP will now have to appeal the Surat court’s decision to the Gujarat High Court or the Supreme Court. Earlier that day, on April 3, the Surat Sessions Court granted bail to the Congress leader, who had appealed his conviction in the case.
In addition to granting bail to the former MP, the court issued notices to complainant Purnesh Modi and the state government regarding the Congress leader’s request for a stay of execution. It heard both parties before setting the order for April 20.
Rahul Gandhi was a Lok Sabha MP from Wayanad until he was disqualified on March 23 after a lower court in Surat sentenced him to two years in prison under sections 499 and 500 (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in a case filed by BJP MLA Purnesh Modi.
The case concerned Rahul Gandhi’s use of the surname ‘Modi’ while speaking at a campaign event ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Rahul said, in a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at a rally in Karnataka’s Kolar in April 2019.
“How come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?”.
Rahul was disqualified as an MP on March 24, 2013, following his conviction, according to a 2013 Supreme Court ruling. According to the ruling, any MP or MLA who is convicted and sentenced to two years or more is automatically disqualified.