Gujarat court rejects Rahul Gandhi’s plea for stay on conviction in criminal defamation case

After hearing both sides, the court on 13 April reserved its order on Gandhi's application for a stay of conviction which was rejected.

ByPTI

Published Apr 20, 2023 | 12:53 PMUpdatedApr 20, 2023 | 12:53 PM

Rahul Gandhi speaking at an event in Wayanad. (X)

A court in Gujarat’s Surat city on Thursday, 20 April, rejected Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s application for a stay on his conviction in a criminal defamation case over his “Modi surname” remark.

The court of additional sessions judge RP Mogera rejected Gandhi’s application for a stay on conviction which, if allowed, could have paved the way for his reinstatement as the Member of Parliament.

Gandhi’s lawyer had filed two applications along with his appeal against the lower court’s order sentencing him to two years in jail, one of them for bail and another for a stay on conviction till the disposal of his appeal.

Related: Patna court summons Rahul Gandhi over ‘Modi’ surname remark

Court issued notices

While granting bail to Gandhi on 3 April, the court issued notices to complainant, BJP MLA Purnesh Modi and the state government for hearing the Congress leader’s plea for a stay of his conviction.

After hearing both sides, the court on 13 April reserved its order on Gandhi’s application for a stay of conviction which was rejected on Thursday.

The court will next hear Gandhi’s main appeal against the lower court’s order sentencing him to two years in jail after convicting him in the case under Indian Penal Code sections 499 and 500 (defamation).

The 52-year-old politician was elected to the Lok Sabha from Wayanad in Kerala in 2019 but was disqualified a day after the lower court last month sentenced him to two years in jail in the case filed by BJP MLA Purnesh Modi.

The lower court had convicted Gandhi for criminal defamation over his remark, “How come all thieves have Modi as the common surname?” made during an election rally at Kolar in Karnataka on 13 April, 2019.

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