‘All-Modi-thieves’ remark: Rahul pleads not-guilty; Surat court to hear case on Dec 10
Surat: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who appeared before a Surat court on Thursday, pleaded not guilty for his ‘all the thieves share the Modi surname’ remark.
Following his remark made early this year, BJP MLA Purnesh Modi had filed a defamation case against him.
The case pertains to a statement made by Gandhi during a rally in Karnataka ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Gandhi had said,”Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narandra Modi… how come they all have Modi as common surname? How come all thieves have Modi as common surname?”
The BJP MLA from Surat said in his complaint that Gandhi defamed the entire Modi community with his statement.
During the hearing, Gandhi’s lawyer Kirit Panwala filed an application for his permanent exemption before the court, which was objected to by the complainant’s lawyer Hasmukh Lalwala. The court has fixed the next date of hearing on December 10. Gandhi will be exempt from appearance on this date. He was also exempted from personal appearance in the previous hearing in July.
Following his attendance in court, Gandhi tweeted: “I am in Surat today to appear in a defamation case filed against me by my political opponents, desperate to silence me. I am grateful for the love & support of the Congress workers who have gathered here to express their solidarity with me.”
A large number of Congress workers had assembled outside the court premises during the hearing. Several of them stood along the road and sprinkled petals while Gandhi’s vehicle passed. After the court procedure, Gandhi left for the airport.
The complaint was filed under Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which deals with criminal defamation.
On Friday, he will appear in an Ahmedabad court which has summoned him in another defamation case. It was lodged by Union Home Minister Amit Shah whom he had dubbed as a “murder accused”. Gandhi had also claimed that the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank, in which Shah is director, was involved in a scam during demonetization.