After unfavourable order by Gujarat HC, Rahul Gandhi moves SC in defamation case
After the Gujarat High Court denied to put a stay on Rahul Gandhi’s conviction in the ‘Modi surname’ defamation case, the former Congress President and disqualified MP has now filed a plea before the Supreme Court against the Gujarat High Court’s verdict.
During an election rally in Karnataka in April 2019, Rahul Gandhi said, “How come all thieves have Modi as the common surname“.
The Gujarat High Court had refused to stay Rahul Gandhi’s conviction and two-year jail term in a criminal defamation case, which cost the Congress leader his Lok Sabha membership.
A bench of Justice Hemant Prachchhak had observed that granting a stay on his conviction would be an exception and not a rule.
Congress leader and senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi had termed the high court judgment as “disappointing but not unexpected”, and indicated that the former Congress President will approach the Supreme Court.
Rahul Gandhi was disqualified as a Member of Parliament in March after a Surat court convicted him and sentenced him to two years in prison for his remarks on ‘Modi surname’.
In anticipation, Purnesh Modi, a BJP MLA and the complainant in the defamation case against Gandhi had submitted a caveat in the Supreme Court requesting for a chance to present his case if the Congress leader challenges the high court verdict.
A caveat serves as a notice submitted to an appellate court by a litigant who wishes to be heard in case any orders are issued regarding an opponent’s appeal that challenges the decision or judgment made by the lower court.
Rahul Gandhi’s 2019 remark was interpreted as an attempt to draw an implicit connection between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and fugitive businessmen Nirav Modi and Lalit Modi.
In March, the sessions court in Surat dismissed Rahul Gandhi’s plea seeking suspension of his conviction by the magistrate court, stating that his disqualification will not result in an irreversible loss to him.
According to legal experts, if the top court stays Rahul Gandhi’s conviction, it would be sufficient to restore his Lok Sabha membership. The Congress leader was disqualified under a rule that bars convicted MPs from holding Lok Sabha membership.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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