Rahul Gandhi, the head of the Congress, has requested that the Supreme Court hear his appeal on July 21 against the Gujarat High Court’s decision to not grant him a stay of execution in the criminal defamation case. Congressman Rahul Gandhi’s appeal against the Gujarat High Court’s decision to suspend his conviction in the criminal defamation case in which he was given a two-year prison sentence by a Surat court for making a joke about the “Modi surname” will be heard by the Supreme Court on July 21.
Following the Supreme Court’s mention of the petition for an urgent listing, attorney Abhishek Manu Singhvi, speaking on behalf of Rahul Gandhi, announced this. The petition was accepted for hearing by a bench consisting of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justices PS Narasimha, and Manoj Mishra. Gandhi’s comment, “How come all thieves have Modi as the common surname?” made during an election rally at Kolar in Karnataka on April 13, 2019, led Purnesh Modi, a former minister in the Gujarat government, to launch a criminal defamation lawsuit against Gandhi in 2019.
What Rahul Gandhi’s plea stated
Rahul Gandhi stated in his July 15 appeal that if the July 7 ruling is not overturned, it will stifle freedom of expression, thinking, and declaration. “It would contribute to the systematic, repetitive emasculation of democratic institutions and the consequent strangulation of democracy which would be gravely detrimental to the political climate and future of India,” Gandhi stated in his appeal. He said that, for the first time ever, a maximum sentence of two years had been issued in a criminal defamation case—an event that is itself extremely uncommon. Gandhi cannot run in the upcoming elections, according to his appeal, which also noted that he was elected (as a Member of Parliament from Wayanad) by a record-breaking 4,31,770 votes.
The former Congress president was found guilty on March 23 and sentenced to two years in prison after being found guilty of violating Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 499 and 500 (criminal defamation). Rahul Gandhi was later declared ineligible to serve as an MP under the terms of the Representation of the People Act. Rahul Gandhi then appealed the decision at a Surat sessions court along with a petition for a stay of his conviction.
He was granted bail by the sessions court on April 20, but the conviction was not postponed; as a result, he petitioned the high court. The high court denied the 53-year-old Gandhi’s request for a stay of execution on July 7, stating that “purity in politics” is urgently needed. Rahul Gandhi could have been reinstated as a Lok Sabha MP if his conviction had been put on hold, but neither the sessions court nor the Gujarat High Court granted him any relief.