A Surat court will rule today on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s request for a stay of his conviction in the criminal defamation case stemming from his “Modi surname” statement. The Congress leader was granted bail by the Surat Sessions Court on April 3 after filing an appeal following his conviction in the case.
While granting bail to the former MP, the court also issued notifications to complainant Purnesh Modi and the state government in response to the Congress leader’s request for a stay of execution. It heard both sides and then set the order for April 20. Rahul Gandhi was a Lok Sabha MP from Wayanad until he was disqualified on March 23 when a lower court in Surat sentenced him to two years in prison under sections 499 and 500 (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in a case filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Purnesh Modi.
The lawsuit concerned a remark made by Rahul Gandhi using the surname ‘Modi’ while speaking at a campaign gathering ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Rahul Gandhi made a jab at Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a rally in Karnataka’s Kolar in April 2019. “How come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?”. Rahul was disqualified as an MP on March 24, 2013, as a result of his conviction, according to a 2013 Supreme Court judgement. Any MP or MLA who is convicted and sentenced to two years or more is automatically disqualified under the judgement.