A sessions court in Surat city of Gujarat on Thursday commenced hearing on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's plea for a stay on his conviction in a defamation case over his "Modi surname" remark in which he has been sentenced to two years in jail. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA and complainant Purnesh Modi, in his reply filed earlier in the same court, opposed Gandhi's plea for a stay on conviction saying the Congress leader is a "repetitive offender" who is in the habit of making defamatory statements.
On Thursday, arguments from both sides commenced in the court of Additional Sessions Judge RP Mogera. "The court will first hear the arguments put forward by Rahul Gandhi's lawyers seeking a stay on his conviction. After that, we will put forth our objections and arguments against their plea for a stay on conviction," Purnesh Modi's lawyer Ketan Reshamwala said before entering the courtroom.
A metropolitan magistrate's court in Surat on March 23 sentenced Rahul Gandhi to two years in jail after holding him guilty for his remark "How come all thieves have Modi as the common surname", made during an election rally on April 13, 2019. Gandhi has filed an appeal before Judge Mogera against the verdict. He has also prayed for a stay on the conviction in the meantime. In his appeal, Gandhi has termed his conviction as "erroneous" and patently perverse.