Rahul gets 2 years imprisonment in ‘Modi surname’ defamation case, granted bail

| Updated: 23 March, 2023 2:18 pm IST
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (file photo)

A Surat court on Thursday convicted Congress MP Rahul Gandhi in a 2019 defamation case and sentenced him to two years imprisonment. The court approved Gandhi’s bail on surety of Rs 15,000.

The case was filed by former Gujarat minister and BJP MLA from Surat West Purnesh Modi. It is related to the alleged remarks Gandhi made on April 13, 2019, at a Lok Sabha election rally in Karnataka’s Kolar where he said, “Why all the thieves have Modi in their names whether be it Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, and Narendra Modi?”

Rahul Gandhi tweeted a quote of Mahatma Gandhi right after the court’s verdict. “My ‘dharm’ is based on truth and non-violence. Truth is my God and non-violence is the medium to achieve it,” he wrote.

The order was pronounced by Chief Judicial Magistrate H H Verma. Gandhi was present inside the courtroom on Thursday afternoon along with several national and state Congress leaders.

Congress was quick to turn into an extension of the ongoing slugfest between the Opposition and the ruling government on alleged misuse of investigating agencies to target political opponents.

“This is new India. If you raise your voice against injustice, then ED-CBI, Police, FIR will be unleashed on you. Rahul Gandhi too is getting punished for speaking the truth and raising his voice against the dictator. The law of the country gives an opportunity to Rahul Gandhi to appeal and he will exercise the right,” Jairam Ramesh said adding, “We are not afraid.”

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge tweeted, “The cowardly, dictatorial BJP govt. is stung by Rahul Gandhi
and the opposition as we are exposing their dark deeds. Demanding JPC. Modi government victim of political bankruptcy ED sends police. Imposes cases on political speeches. We will appeal in the Higher Court.”

The case against Gandhi was lodged under sections 499 (Whoever, by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation of such person, is said to defame that person) and 500 (whoever defames another shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both) of the Indian Penal Code.


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