The court also approved his bail on a surety of Rs 15,000 and allowed him 30 days to appeal against the sentence.
Surat: A court in Surat found Congress MP Rahul Gandhi guilty in a 2009 defamation case and sentenced him to two years in jail. However, the court also approved his bail on a surety of Rs 15,000 and allowed him 30 days to appeal against the sentence.
At a rally in Karnataka ahead of the Lok Sabha election, on April 13, 2019, Gandhi had reportedly said, “Why all the thieves have Modi in their names whether be it Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, and Narendra Modi?” A defamation case was filed against him by Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi. Purnesh represents the Surat West constituency.
While Gandhi was in the courtroom when Chief Judicial Magistrate H H Verma pronounced the court, a battery of senior leaders accompanied the Congress MP and the police increased the security in the court campus.
Speaking to the media, Purnesh Modi said he is satisfied with the court order. He added that he belongs from the Modhwanik Ghanchi community and Gandhi’s comments had hurt the sentiments of the people of the community. However, Gandhi’s lawyers said they are not satisfied with the verdict as their arguments “weren’t taken into consideration” by the court.
Assuring that the defense will approach the higher courts, Gandhi’s lawyer Kirit Panwala said there is no community which goes by the name Modi. Panwala also told the media that Purnesh Modi’s real surname is Bhootwala which was later changed to Modi.
Moments after his conviction, Gandhi tweeted in Hindi which loosely translates to, “Regards to Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru on Martyr’s Day! Holding the hem of truth and courage, fighting fearlessly for the country, we have learned from these brave sons of Mother India. Long live the revolution.”
In a separate tweet, also in Hindi, Gandhi tweeted Mahatma Gandhi and wrote, “My religion is based on truth and non-violence. Truth is my God, non-violence the means to get it.- Mahatma Gandhi”.