Rahul Gandhi moves Surat court against conviction in defamation case
Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday reportedly filed an appeal in the Surat Sessions Court in Gujarat against the magistrate order sentencing him to two years in prison in a 2019 criminal defamation case, according to The Indian Express. As per reports, the court is set to hear the Congress leader's plea on Monday.
Why does this story matter?
- This development comes after Gandhi was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison in the 2019 defamation case—concerning PM Narendra Modi's surname—last month by the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate HH Varma in Surat.
- Following this, he was expelled from the Lok Sabha on March 24.
- This sparked a nationwide political debate, eliciting strong reactions from the Congress and other opposition parties.
Details on Gandhi's plea
In his plea, Gandhi has reportedly asked the sessions court to set aside the order of Magistrate Varma that convicted him in the 2019 defamation case. The 52-year-old also demanded an interim stay on the conviction until the case is disposed of, reported NDTV. Notably, Gandhi received bail and his sentence was suspended for 30 days to give him time to contest the judgment.
Consequences of Gandhi's conviction in defamation case
It is worth mentioning that unless a higher court puts the magistrate order on hold, the Election Commission of India (ECI) will likely announce a bypoll for the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat in Kerala, which fell vacant after Gandhi's conviction in the case. Furthermore, the Congress leader will also not be able to contest elections for the next eight years.
Know about defamation case against Gandhi
In a verbal attack on PM Modi in Karnataka's Kolar district, Gandhi had said in 2019, "Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi... How come all the thieves have Modi as a common surname?" Following this, Surat (West) BJP legislator Purnesh Modi took offense and filed a complaint, alleging that Gandhi had defamed the entire Modi community.
Gandhi might face another lawsuit for 'Modi surname' remark
Last week, former Indian Premier League (IPL) head Lalit Modi threatened to sue Gandhi for his 2019 "Modi surname" remarks and also addressed the allegations by the Congress leader's associates claiming that he was a "fugitive of justice." In a series of tweets, 59-year-old Lalit stated that he was looking "forward to seeing him make a complete fool of himself."
Decided to take Gandhi to court in UK: Modi
"I have decided to take Rahul Gandhi to court in the UK right away. I am sure he will have to come up with some solid evidence. I look forward to seeing him make a complete fool of himself," Lalit tweeted. Since 2010, Modi has been living in the United Kingdom (UK) after he faced multiple charges of financial irregularities in the IPL.