The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday refused to give an interim stay on his conviction in a criminal defamation case over the remarks the Congress leader made about the Modi Surname back in 2019. For this, he was sentenced to two years in jail by the Surat court. The court declared that it will give an order on this petition after summer vacation.
Abhishek Manu Singhvi, the lawyer for Rahul Gandhi, stated ‘extreme urgency’ to request from the court for an interim or a final order following the closing argument from both sides. However, the court of Justice, Hemant Prachchhak said that he will pass the final order only after going through the records and proceedings, and posted the matter for verdict after the reopening of the high court after summer vacation which is from May 8th to June 3. He further added that no interim protection can be granted at this stage.
Rahul Gandhi, who represented Wayanad parliament constituency in Kerala, was sentenced to years in jail after he was convicted under sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code for criminal defamation in the case filed by BJP MLA Purnesh Modi.
The MLA has put a case against him for a remark he made on the 13th of April 2019 during an election rally in Kolar where he said “How come all thieves have Modi as a common surname”
Following the conviction, the ex-president of the congress party was disqualified as a member of Parliament. The law states that if a member is convicted of any offence for two or more years then their seat will be declared vacant. One can only stay in the parliament if the conviction is suspended.
During an earlier hearing on April 29, Mr Gandhi's lawyer had argued that a maximum punishment of two years for a bailable, non-cognisable offence meant he could lose his Lok Sabha seat "permanently and irreversibly", which was a "very serious additional irreversible consequence to the person and the constituency he represents".
The alleged offence was non-serious and did not involve moral turpitude, and yet Mr Gandhi's disqualification, because of not staying his conviction, would affect him as well as the people of his constituency, he had said.
On April 3, Rahul Gandhi’s Lawyer approached the session court with two applications, one for bail and the second for a stay on conviction pending his appeal, along with his main appeal against the lower court’s order to sentence him to two years of jail.
While the court granted his bail, it rejected his plea for a stay on conviction. He was also given 30 days to file an appeal.
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