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Business News/ News / India/  Rahul Gandhi Modi-surname defamation case: Gujarat HC refuses to stay conviction; calls trial court's judgment ‘proper’
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Rahul Gandhi Modi-surname defamation case: Gujarat HC refuses to stay conviction; calls trial court's judgment ‘proper’

The Gujarat High Court has refused to grant a stay on Rahul Gandhi's conviction and two-year jail term in a criminal defamation case, resulting in the loss of his Parliament membership. The court also acknowledged the existence of 10 additional defamation complaints against him.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's review plea has been rejected by Gujarat High Court (PTI)Premium
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's review plea has been rejected by Gujarat High Court (PTI)

In a significant blow to Rahul Gandhi, the Gujarat High Court has declined to grant a stay on his conviction and two-year jail term in a criminal defamation case. This ruling has resulted in the loss of his Parliament membership, representing a major setback for him.

The Gujarat High Court has acknowledged the existence of 10 additional criminal defamation complaints against Gandhi. The court further stated that the order issued by the sessions court did not warrant any interference in the matter.

"(Gandhi) is seeking a stay on conviction on absolutely non-existent grounds. Stay on conviction is not a rule. As many as 10 cases are pending against (Gandhi)," LiveLaw quoted Gujarat HC as saying.

Rahul Gandhi defamation case verdict LIVE

"It is needed to have purity in politics. A complaint has been filed against (Gandhi) by the grandson of Veer Savarkar in Pune Court after Gandhi used terms against Veer Savarkar at Cambridge."

"Refusal to stay conviction would not in any way result in injustice to the applicant. There are no reasonable grounds to stay conviction. The conviction is just, proper and legal," it added.

A stay on conviction would have pave the way for Gandhi's reinstatement as a Member of Parliament (MP). 

Also Read: Telangana: K Chandrashekar Rao’s remote control with Modi, says Rahul Gandhi

In May, Justice Prachchhak, while hearing Gandhi's plea, had refused to grant any interim relief saying it will pass a final order after the summer vacation, which ended three weeks back.

During a hearing on April 29, Gandhi's lawyer had argued that a maximum punishment of two years for a bailable, non-cognisable offence meant his client could lose his Lok Sabha seat "permanently and irreversibly", which was a "very serious additional irreversible consequence to the person and the constituency he represents".

A metropolitan magistrate's court in Surat sentenced the former Congress president to two years in jail on March 23 after convicting him under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 499 and 500 (criminal defamation) in a 2019 case filed by Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Purnesh Modi. Following the verdict, Gandhi, elected to the Lok Sabha from Wayanad in Kerala, was disqualified as MP under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act.

Also Read: Modi surname case: No coercive action against Rahul Gandhi, directs Jharkhand HC

Gandhi challenged the order in a sessions court in Surat along with an application seeking a stay on the conviction. While granting him bail, the court, on April 20, refused to stay the conviction, after which he approached the high court, PTI reported.

Surat West MLA Purnesh Modi filed a criminal defamation case against Gandhi over his "how come all thieves have Modi as the common surname?" remark made during an election rally at Kolar in Karnataka on April 13, 2019.

(With PTI inputs)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sounak Mukhopadhyay
Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and sports. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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Published: 07 Jul 2023, 11:04 AM IST
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