A Surat district court in Gujarat on Thursday convicted Congress MP Rahul Gandhi in a criminal defamation case against him over his alleged 'Modi surname' remark in April 2019. Gandhi was convicted under IPC sections 499 and 500. The maximum possible punishment under this section is two years.
The Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate H.H. Varma sentenced him to two years in jail and also imposed a fine of Rs 15,000 after finding him guilty; however, on Rahul Gandhi's plea, his sentence has been suspended and bail has been granted to enable him to move an appeal against his conviction within 30 days.
The lawyer representing Rahul Gandhi said that they will move to session court soon. BJP MLA and former Gujarat Minister Purnesh Modi had filed the case against Rahul Gandhi for his alleged "how come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?" remarks while addressing a rally at Kolar in Karnataka ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The remarks were video graphed by the video surveillance team and video viewing team of the office of Deputy Commissioner and District Election Officer, Kollar District. The complainant claimed that the controversial remark was made at a rally at Kolar in Karnataka ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections which defamed the entire Modi community.
Chief Judicial Magistrate H.H. Varma last week had concluded hearing the final arguments from both sides and set March 23 to pronounce its judgment. Gandhi has maintained that there was no mala fide intention on his part when he made the statement in question.