On Thursday, March 23, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was sentenced to two years of imprisonment by the Surat District Court in a 2019 criminal defamation case. The case against Gandhi was filed by BJP MLA and former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi for his “Modi surname” remarks. The Congress leader was then given bail by the judge later, and the ruling was postponed for 30 days so that the Congress leader could file an appeal with a higher court.
The defamation suit was filed by Purnesh Modi after Gandhi made derogatory remarks against ‘Modi surname’ at a Lok Sabha election rally in Karnataka’s Kolar on April 13, 2019. “Why all the thieves, be it Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi or Narendra Modi, have Modi in their names,” the leader had said during the rally.
Gujarat | Surat District Court sentenced Congress MP Rahul Gandhi to two years of imprisonment in the criminal defamation case filed against him over his alleged 'Modi surname' remark.
He was later granted bail by the court. https://t.co/qmGNBIMTaF
— ANI (@ANI) March 23, 2023
Purnesh Modi had filed a complaint under Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code and had stated that the Congress leader had defamed every person who carried the surname ‘Modi’.
Reportedly, the video of the remarks made by Gandhi was captured by the video surveillance team and video viewing team duly notified by the office of Deputy Commissioner and District Election Officer, Kollar District.
In February this year, the Gujarat High Court revoked the preliminary hold on the criminal defamation case. Rahul Gandhi was in the courtroom when the judge delivered the decision. He had appeared before the Court on the previous three dates as well. Rahul Gandhi on the other hand has maintained that he didn’t want to say anything bad when he made the disputed comment.
After finding him guilty of violating Sections 499 (Defamation) and 500 (Punishment for Defamation) of the IPC, the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate HH Varma sentenced him to two years in prison. Rahul Gandhi’s request however has resulted in the suspension of his sentence and the granting of bail, which would allow him to file an appeal against his conviction within 30 days.