Why Rahul Gandhi faces jail in ‘Modi surname’ defamation case

In relation to his 2019 statement, Rahul Gandhi was convicted in a criminal defamation case by a Gujarat court.

Rahul Gandhi Speaker
Rahul Gandhi will also be personally writing to leaders of all Opposition parties who condemned his disqualification I File Photo

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was on Thursday (March 23) found guilty in a criminal defamation case by a court in Surat, Gujarat regarding his “Modi surname” remarks in 2019.

What is the case

The case was filed by Purnesh Modi, a former Gujarat minister and BJP legislator.

Also Read: Rahul Gandhi gets 2 years in jail in 2019 defamation case; granted bail

During his campaign for the Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka’s Kolar, Rahul had questioned “how come all the thieves have Modi as a common surname.”

Bail for Rahul

Although the court initially sentenced him to two years in prison, it later suspended the sentence for 30 days and granted Rahul bail.

Recently, the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, presided over by Justice HH Verma, conducted the final arguments in the case against Rahul Gandhi.

The last time Rahul had appeared before the bench was in October 2021 when he recorded his statement.

Why was Rahul convicted?

The complainant, Purnesh Modi, had claimed that Rahul’s statement was an insult to everyone with the Modi surname, and an FIR had been registered under Section 504 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

This section pertains to intentionally insulting someone and thereby provoking them, with a maximum punishment of two years imprisonment.

Congress’ support for Rahul

The Congress party displayed posters in support of Rahul outside the Surat court premises where he appeared for the court proceedings.

The posters featured images of Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev, along with a message encouraging people to stand in solidarity with democracy by attending the court proceedings.