Rahul Gandhi appears before Bengaluru court, granted bail in defamation case filed by BJP

The court had on 1 June granted bail to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar.


Published Jun 07, 2024 | 12:07 PMUpdatedJun 07, 2024 | 12:07 PM

Rahul Gandhi at the Bengaluru court

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday, 7 June, was granted bail by a special court in Bengaluru, in connection with a case filed by the BJP’s Karnataka unit for issuing “defamatory” advertisements in mainstream newspapers.

The advertisement ahead of Assembly polls last year accused the then BJP government in the state of indulging in large-scale corruption during its 2019-2023 rule.

The court had on 1 June granted bail to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, who is also the State Congress chief, after they appeared before it in connection with the defamation case.

Judge KN Shivakumar had directed Gandhi to appear before the court on 7 June, without fail.

During the hearing last week, the counsel for Gandhi moved an application seeking an exemption from appearance for his client, which was opposed by the complainant’s side, arguing that repeated exemptions should not be permitted.

The complaint

The BJP had in its complaint filed in June 2023 alleged that false and reckless allegations were made in the advertisements issued by the accused persons on 5 May, 2023 in all the mainstream newspapers in Karnataka during campaigning for assembly polls, under the title “Corruption rate card” and making accusations of “40 percent Commission Sarkara (government)”.

It was alleged in the complaint that the advertisements were issued by the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (state Congress) through Shivakumar, in his capacity as its president and by Siddaramaiah, as the then Leader of the Opposition in the legislative assembly.

Rahul Gandhi had put up a post of this “defamatory advertisement” on his account on social media platform X, the BJP pointed out.

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