A special court in Bihar’s Patna has summoned Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to record his statement on April 12 in a criminal defamation case filed against him by BJP MP Sushil Kumar Modi.
The case has been filed in Bihar over Rahul’s remarks on the “Modi surname” during an election rally in Karnataka in 2019.
The case was filed against Rahul for his alleged “how come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?” remarks.
Also read: Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification: Mayawati can be key to Opposition unity
According to a report in Hindustan Times, Sushil Modi’s counsel SD Sanjay said that the court has issued summon against Rahul to record his statement under section 313 of CrPC. He added that Rahul was granted bail on July 6, 2019.
“The statements of all the witnesses from the complainant side have been recorded and all the evidence has been submitted. Now the case is pending for the statement of Rahul Gandhi and April 12 has been fixed as a date for his recording of the statement,” Sanjay was quoted as saying by Economic Times.
On March 23, a court in Surat in Gujarat sentenced Rahul to two years in jail in a criminal defamation case filed over the same remarks.
Also read: ‘Modi surname’ row: Lalit Modi again threatens to sue Rahul Gandhi in UK
The conviction led to Rahul being disqualified as an MP from Lok Sabha.
The court of Chief Judicial Magistrate HH Varma, which held Rahul guilty under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 499 and 500, also granted him bail and suspended the sentence for 30 days to allow him to appeal in a higher court, the Congress leader’s lawyer Babu Mangukiya said.
Rahul was present in the court when the verdict was pronounced.
Meanwhile, the Congress has contended that there is no delay in the filing of a review petition challenging the Surat court verdict against Rahul in the defamation case and it is likely to be registered “shortly” before the sessions court.
Sources said the 168-page judgment of the Surat court against Gandhi has been translated by experts and the petition is ready for filing, but his legal team is taking an “abundantly cautious approach” keeping in view the repercussions that it could have on the two other similar cases filed in Patna and Ranchi courts on the same grounds.
The sources also said that Rahul’s legal team handling the case has 30 days (from March 23) to file an appeal before the sessions court.
Top legal advisors of the Congress are working on the review petition which will be filed before the Surat sessions court in a day or two, they added.
(With agency inputs)