Published On: Thu, Apr 20th, 2023

Big jolt to Rahul Gandhi, no stay on his conviction in defamation case

Surat: In a major setback to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, a sessions court in Gujarat’s Surat dismissed his plea seeking stay on his conviction in a 2019 criminal defamation case over his “Modi surname” remark.

Rahul Gandhi on April 3 filed an appeal in the sessions court against his conviction

The former Congress chief is likely to move High Court. “We will continue to avail all options still available to us under the law,” senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said.

A Surat court in Gujarat on March 23 convicted Rahul Gandhi in the defamation case and sentenced him to two years in jail. Following his conviction, he was disqualification as Lok Sabha member from the date of the verdict. The court granted bail to Gandhi and allowed him to appeal to a higher court in a month.

Rahul Gandhi on April 3 filed an appeal in the sessions court against his conviction and said that the order was “erroneous and patently perverse” and that he was sentenced in a manner so as to attract disqualification as a MP. The Congress leader also alleged that he was treated harshly by the trial court which was “overwhelmingly influenced” by his status as an MP, and maintained there is no such thing as a definite Modi samaj or community on record.

Gandhi’s lawyers also filed two applications, one for a stay on the sentence (or bail till the disposal of his appeal) and another for a stay on conviction till the disposal of the appeal. He was granted bail.

Last Thursday, a court of Additional Sessions Judge RP Mogera reserved its verdict for today on Gandhi’s application for a stay on conviction.

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