Rahul Gandhi to be in Surat tomorrow to challenge conviction in defamation case
Rahul Gandhi’s lawyer has said that the Congress leader will arrive in Surat from Delhi on Monday and will be in the Surat sessions court by afternoon
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who was recently disqualified from the Lok Sabha after being sentenced to two years in prison in a 2019 criminal defamation case, will challenge his conviction and sentencing in the Surat sessions court in Gujarat on Monday, according to his lawyer.
The former Congress chief will arrive in Surat from Delhi on Monday and will be in the court by afternoon, according to his advocate, Kirit Panwala.
Gandhi, in his plea, has asked the sessions court to set aside the magistrate order convicting him in the defamation case, said Panwala. He has also asked for an interim stay on the conviction till the matter is disposed of.
On March 23, the Surat court convicted Gandhi in a criminal defamation case against him over his “Modi surname” remark based on a complaint lodged by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA and former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi.
The complainant claimed that the remark, made at a rally at Kolar in Karnataka ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, had defamed the entire Modi community. In his controversial remark, Gandhi had said, “How come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?”
The court, however, granted bail to the Congress leader and suspended his sentence for 30 days to allow him to appeal against the decision. The Lok Sabha secretariat suspended his Parliament membership and days after his disqualification, he was served a notice to vacate his official Delhi bungalow, as he was no longer entitled to it.
The Election Commission will announce a special election for his Wayanad Lok Sabha seat unless his conviction is put on hold by a higher court. Also, he will not be allowed to contest elections for the next eight years.