Ahmadabad: The Gujarat High Court declined to grant a stay on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s conviction in the ‘Modi surname’ defamation case. Justice Hemant M Prachchhak, presiding over the bench, stated that the trial court’s conviction order was appropriate.
In March of this year, Gandhi was sued and handed a two-year sentence for his pre-poll comment in 2019, where he questioned at a rally whether all individuals with the Modi surname were thieves. As a result of the conviction, Gandhi will remain disqualified from the Lok Sabha.
The court dismissed Rahul Gandhi’s plea, highlighting that he has at least 10 pending criminal cases against him. It was further noted that additional cases have been filed against him even after the present one, including one filed by the grandson of Veer Savarkar. In May of this year, the Gujarat High Court reserved its order on Gandhi’s plea to stay his conviction in the 2019 ‘Modi surname’ defamation case. On April 25, Gandhi approached the court, challenging the Surat Sessions Court’s decision to deny a stay on his conviction in the criminal defamation case.
Under a 2013 Supreme Court ruling, if an MP is sentenced to two or more years in prison, they are disqualified. As a 52-year-old Lok Sabha MP from Wayanad in Kerala, Rahul Gandhi was disqualified from his position on the day following his conviction.
The defamation case was filed by BJP MLA and former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi in response to Rahul Gandhi’s statement at a rally in Kolar. During the rally, Gandhi had said, “Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi… how come they all have Modi as a common surname? How come all the thieves have the common surname Modi?”