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'All Thieves Have Modi Surname' Case: Gujarat HC To Deliver Verdict On Rahul Gandhi's Plea For Stay On Conviction

Swarajya News Staff

Jul 07, 2023, 08:19 AM | Updated 08:19 AM IST

Rahul Gandhi (File Photo)
Rahul Gandhi (File Photo)

The verdict on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's plea for a stay on his conviction in a criminal defamation case on 'All thieves have Modi surname' remark is expected to be delivered by the Gujarat High Court on Friday.

Gandhi had been sentenced to two years of imprisonment by a Surat court.

Justice Hemant Prachchhak presided over the petition hearings in April and May, with the arguments concluding on 2 May.

Representing Gandhi, Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi argued for a stay on the conviction by stating that denying the plea in such a case of alleged criminal defamation, the court will be “rewriting” the scope of CrPC Section 389, reports Indian Express.

The High Court was informed that the trial was vitiated and the conviction did not fall under the category of moral turpitude or a serious offense as defined in various judgments.

Singhvi contended that the irreversible consequences flow from the conviction, including the need for Gandhi to seek re-election, which cannot be undone by a court of law.

Gandhi was convicted by a Surat magistrate court on 23 March and sentenced to two-year imprisonment. The complaint of criminal defamation was filed by Surat West MLA Purnesh Modi.

Gandhi made the remark "why all thieves have the Modi surname" during a political campaign in Kolar, Karnataka in April 2019.

As a consequence of the verdict, Gandhi, who was representing Kerala's Wayanad in the Lok Sabha at the time, was disqualified as a Member of Parliament under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act.

If the high court grants a stay on the conviction, it would open the door for Gandhi to be reinstated as a Member of Parliament. This would allow him to resume his duties and responsibilities in the Lok Sabha.

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