Congress leader Rahul Gandhi filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the Gujarat High Court's refusal to stay his conviction in the criminal defamation case over his 'Modi surname' remarks. The conviction in the case led to his disqualification as Lok Sabha MP.
The criminal defamation case was filed by BJP MLA and former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi, over a remark made by Gandhi during the 2019 Lok Sabha campaign. Referring to persons like Lalit Modi, and Nirav Modi, Gandhi had allegedly asked "Why do all thieves have the same surname?". Alleging that Gandhi's remarks defamed the 'entire Modi community', BJP MLA and former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi filed a defamation case against him.
Gujarat High Court Dismissed Rahul Gandhi's Plea
The Gujarat High Court dismissed Rahul Gandhi's review plea to suspend his conviction in a criminal defamation case over his Modi surname remark while noting that the stay on conviction was being sought on 'absolutely non-existent' grounds. "Stay on conviction is not a rule. As many as 10 cases are pending against (Gandhi). It is needed to have purity in politics...A complaint has been filed against (Gandhi) by the grandson of Veer Savarkar in Pune Court after Gandhi used terms against Veer Savarkar at Cambridge...Refusal to stay conviction would not in any way result in injustice to the applicant. There are no reasonable grounds to stay conviction," Justice Hemant Prachchhak observed while pronouncing the order.
BJP MLA Purnesh Modi had welcomed the high court's verdict. "He should think about it and not create such histories," he said when asked about court's observation that Rahul Gandhi has made such remarks before.
Congress launched a nationwide protest in solidarity with Rahul Gandhi and accused the BJP of employing "dirty tricks" to disqualify Rahul Gandhi from Parliament. Congress workers and leaders held a 'maun satyagraha' near Mahatma Gandhi statues in state capitals on July 12. However, Congress has called off the scheduled "Maun Satyagrah" in four states (Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh) which are affected due to heavy rain and flood. It will now take place on 23rd July, announced Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal
(This is a developing story. More details are awaited.)