Rahul Gandhi has requested the Supreme Court to suspend his two-year conviction in the 'Modi surname' remark case.
He maintains his innocence and seeks permission to participate in the ongoing sessions of the Lok Sabha and future sessions.
In his affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court, Rahul Gandhi asserts that he has always maintained his innocence and finds the conviction to be unjustifiable.
He also states that if he had to apologize and admit guilt, he would have done so earlier.
According to Rahul Gandhi's affidavit, the complainant, Gujarat BJP MLA Purnesh Ishwarbhai Modi, used derogatory terms such as 'arrogant' to describe him simply because he refused to apologize.
Gandhi's lawyer argued that it is an abuse of the judicial process to use criminal charges and the consequences of the Representation of Peoples Act to force him to apologize for something he did not do.
According to the affidavit, Gandhi's case is exceptional because the offense is trivial and he suffers irreparable harm as an elected MP.
Gandhi stated that there is no prejudice caused to the complainant and requested that his conviction be stayed so that he can continue participating in the Lok Sabha and future sessions.
The complainant in Rahul Gandhi's criminal defamation case, where he was convicted and sentenced to two years in jail for his 'Modi surname' remark, argued that the Congress leader's attitude reflects an arrogant sense of entitlement and he should not be granted any relief in the form of a stay on his conviction.
According to the complainant, Rahul Gandhi's remarks and attitude demonstrate arrogance and insensitivity towards an offended community, as well as contempt for the law.
In the affidavit filed by Purnesh Ishwarbhai Modi, it is stated that during the sentencing before the Trial Court, Rahul Gandhi displayed arrogance instead of remorse. He refused to seek mercy from the court and expressed no intention to apologize for defaming the individuals in question.
Furthermore, in a subsequent press conference, he declared that he would never apologize in this case, stating that he was not a Savarkar but a Gandhi.
The complainant argues for the dismissal of Gandhi's appeal, asserting that the Congress leader has unjustly tarnished the reputation of an innocent group of people through his reckless and malicious words.
The Supreme Court has requested a response from the Gujarat Government and the complainant regarding Rahul Gandhi's appeal.
This appeal challenges the Gujarat High Court's decision to not grant a stay on his conviction in the criminal defamation case.
Following his conviction in the case, Gandhi was disqualified as MP from Kerala's Wayanad on March 24 by the Lok Sabha Secretariat.
Due to his two-year imprisonment sentence, Gandhi was disqualified as an MP under the Representation of People Act.
Gandhi approached the top court, seeking a stay on the Gujarat High Court verdict that upheld his conviction. He argued that the High Court verdict was unprecedented in the law of defamation.
In his plea, Gandhi also argues that the imposition of a maximum sentence of two years in a case of criminal defamation is an unprecedented occurrence, making it a rarest of rare cases.
The High Court, on July 7, upheld the decision of a Gujarat Sessions court, which had denied the request to suspend a magisterial court order convicting Gandhi on March 23 and imposing the maximum punishment for criminal defamation as per the Indian Penal Code.
The High Court has dismissed Gandhi's plea for a stay on his conviction, stating that his grounds for seeking the stay are non-existent. The court emphasized that a stay on conviction is not the norm but rather an exception.
In relation to his comments about the 'Modi' surname before the 2019 national elections, Rahul Gandhi was convicted by the magisterial court in March.
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