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.
NEW DELHI — Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has been sentenced to two years in jail in the defamation case against him for his “all thieves have Modi surname” remark.
A court in Surat convicted Rahul Gandhi on Thursday under Section 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
However, Rahul Gandhi was granted bail by the court after his legal team filed a bail plea.
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.
The complaint was filed under IPC sections 499 and 500, both dealing with defamation.
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.
The court’s 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.
Rahul Gandhi after being convicted by Surat court faces disqualification as an MP and may not be able to contest elections if the sentence is not suspended by higher courts.
The Representation of the People Act, 1951 Disqualification on Imprisonment provides that a person will be disqualified if convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for two years or more. The person is disqualified for the period of imprisonment and a further six years.
But, there is an exception for sitting members provided in the Act. “There is an exception for sitting members; they have been provided a period of three months from the date of conviction to appeal; the disqualification will not be applicable until the appeal is decided,” says the Act. — With inputs from IANS