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    Rahul’s request for conviction suspension in defamation case denied

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    Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s request to suspend his conviction in a defamation case has been dismissed by the sessions court in Surat. Gandhi was convicted on March 23 for his comments during an election rally in Kolar in April 2019. He had said that “all people with the Modi surname are thieves”. The court sentenced him to two years in prison and he was disqualified from Lok Sabha the following day.

    Gandhi’s attorneys had filed two applications, one for bail until the appeal is decided and one to suspend his conviction until the appeal is decided. Senior advocate RS Cheema argued that only an aggrieved person could file a defamation complaint as per the law, and that the speech was not defamatory until it was taken out of context.

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    The case was brought by BJP MLA Purnesh Modi, who claimed that Rahul Gandhi’s statement had defamed all people with the Modi surname. The court found Rahul Gandhi guilty under IPC Sections 499 (defamation) and 500 (punishment for defamation). He had claimed that the trial court treated him harshly because of his status as an MP. Cheema also questioned the Surat court’s jurisdiction, pointing out that the speech was made in Kolar.

    The court rejected Rahul Gandhi’s plea, which means that he cannot be reinstated as an MP. It also imposed the maximum punishment permissible under the law, and Rahul Gandhi’s punishment could not have been even a day less to allow him to retain his seat as an MP.

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