Surat court rejects Rahul’s plea to grant stay on conviction in defamation case

This means Rahul will remain disqualified as Lok Sabha MP

Rahul Gandhi, Bidar district, Karnataka assembly elections, Karnataka elections 2023
Sources said Rahul Gandhi has been on a hunt for a space to set up his independent office. File photo

A Surat Sessions Court on Thursday rejected the application filed by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi seeking stay on his conviction in the 2019 defamation case on “Modi surname” remark.

The court of additional sessions judge RP Mogera rejected Rahul’s application for a relief pending his appeal against a lower court’s order sentencing him to two years in jail in the case. Rahul had on April 3 approached the sessions court for appeal against the lower court’s order. A stay on conviction by the sessions court could have paved the way for Rahul’s reinstatement as Member of Parliament.

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Rahul had approached the sessions court for appeal after the lower court sentenced him to two years in jail while convicting him for criminal defamation over his remark, “How come all thieves have Modi as the common surname?” made during an election rally at Kolar in Karnataka on April 13, 2019.


Will avail all options: Cong

Meanwhile, the Congress on Thursday said it will continue to avail all options still available under the law after a Gujarat court rejected Rahul’s plea for a stay on his conviction in a criminal defamation case.

“We will continue to avail all options still available to us under the law. Dr AM Singhvi will brief the media on Rahul Gandhi’s appeal at 4 pm,” Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said in a tweet.

Earlier, the sessions court had granted bail to Rahul and suspended his two-year jail sentence, pronounced by a metropolitan magistrate court on March 23, till the disposal of his appeal seeking a stay on his conviction.

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Following his conviction, Rahul was disqualified as Lok Sabha MP, prompting several top leaders of Opposition parties to lash out at the government.  In his appeal before the Surat district and sessions court against his two-year conviction, Rahul stated that it seemed “reasonable to argue” that the maximum sentence awarded to him was to “attract the order of disqualification (as an MP)”.