The Supreme Court issued a notice to Gujarat Government and former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi on the plea of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi challenging the Gujarat High Court order which declined to stay his conviction in the criminal defamation case over his "Modi surname remarks". Conviction in the case led to his disqualification as a Member of Parliament. The court posted the matter for further hearing on August 4.
The Gujarat High Court earlier dismissed Rahul Gandhi's review plea to suspend his conviction in the case while noting that the stay on conviction was being sought on 'absolutely non-existent' grounds. Noting that Gandhi has 10 cases pending against him, Justice Hemant Prachchhak observed "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."
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 the defamation case against him.
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.