In a 2019 criminal defamation lawsuit involving his comments on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s last name. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was found guilty and given a two-year prison term by a court in Surat, Gujarat. To allow him to appeal the ruling, he was given bail and his sentence was suspended for 30 days.
Purnesh Modi, a former Gujarat minister and member of the BJP, brought the lawsuit against Mr. Gandhi. The same was after he remarked, “How come all thieves have the same last name Modi?”
The Wayanad MP for the Lok Sabha made the comments while speaking at a rally in Kolar, Karnataka. Which were in advance of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He was criticizing PM Modi for sharing his last name with the wanted businessmen Nirav Modi and Lalit Modi.
Rahul Gandhi’s reply:
My religion is based on truth and nonviolence, tweeted Mr. Gandhi in Hindi in his first statement following the decision. Truth is my god, and nonviolence is the way I obtain it.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, a member of the Congress and his sister, wrote on Twitter: “Scared rulers are making every effort to silence the voice of @RahulGandhi ji. My brother has never experienced fear, and he never will. He will keep telling the truth, will keep raising the nation’s population’s voice. He is surrounded by the force of the truth and the devotion of millions of his people. Top members of the Gujarat branch of the Congress welcomed Mr. Gandhi when he arrived in Surat earlier in the day for the verdict.
Gandhi’s sentence has been stayed by the Surat court for 30 days in order to give him a chance to contest the ruling regarding his legal team’s request.
Is Rahul Gandhi’s Lok Sabha membership in danger after Surat court’s judgement?
In the meantime, rumors abound that Gandhi will be expelled from the Lok Sabha as a result of a 2013 Supreme Court decision on guilty MPs. It’s interesting that he was the one who openly dismantled his own government’s ordinance, rendering the ruling invalid. Gandhi can, however, appeal to a higher court to stop any such action.
If Gandhi cannot obtain a stay on the conviction (and not simply the punishment) from an appellate court, in this case a sessions court, within that timeframe, his disqualification will take effect after one month.
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