Rahul moves Gujarat High Court seeking stay on conviction in defamation case

Move comes days after Surat court rejects request to pause his conviction

Rahul Gandhi
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in a file photo

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday (April 25) moved the Gujarat High Court, seeking a stay on his conviction in a defamation case, media reports said. This came after a Surat court rejected his request to pause his conviction in the case involving his 2019 comment on the Modi surname.

Rahul had sought a pause on his conviction that would help his reinstatement as an MP. Last month, he was disqualified from the post after receiving a two-year jail term. Subsequently, he had to vacate his government bungalow on Tuqhlaq Lane in New Delhi.

The Surat trial court had treated him harshly, overwhelmingly influenced by his status as an MP, said Rahul in his appeal. However, Justice Robin Mongera said Rahul had failed to demonstrate that “by not staying the conviction and denying an opportunity to contest the election, an irreversible and irrevocable damage will be caused to him”.

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In the campaign ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Rahul had said, “How come all thieves have the common surname Modi?” The BJP alleged it was an insult to the OBC community. Party MLA Purnesh Modi, filed a defamation case against him.

The Gujarat court which convicted him, had granted him bail and 30 days’ time to file an appeal.