The Gujarat High Court on has reserved its order on the plea for relief of the Congress leader Rahul Gandhi plea seeking a stay on his conviction in the 2019 ‘Modi surname’ defamation case.
The court also refused to grant any interim relief to Rahul Gandhi.
Justice Hemant Prachchhak will pronounce the verdict after vacations.
Rahul Gandhi had moved the Gujarat High Court on April 25 challenging the Surat sessions court order which had declined to stay his conviction in the criminal defamation case by the lower court in Surat.
The Surat sessions court which was his next step in seeking relief, had on April 20 rejected Rahul Gandhi’s plea seeking a stay on his conviction in the 2019 criminal defamation case.
Failing to get any relief, instead Rahul Gandhi found the Additional Sessions Judge Robin P Mogera citing Rahul Gandhi’s stature as an MP and former chief of the country’s second-largest political party and opining that he (Rahul Gandhi) should have been careful. In the Gujarat High Court, on April 29, while the case was being heard, arguing on Rahul Gandhi’s behalf, Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, had sought time to produce certain documents on record after which the court had adjourned the hearing to May 2.
While seized of the matter during hearing, Justice Hemant Prachchhak made the following remark:
“In fact, it is his more duty towards the people at large. He is representing the people at large. He must make his statements within limits and bounds.”
Rahul’s lawyer Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the Court that his client had not committed any grave or heinous offence like murder or any offence involving moral turpitude.
“Nobody can suggest that my case falls under moral turpitude or serious category. In fact, my case is a bailable one and it is not against the society at large,” Singhvi submitted on behalf of Rahul Gandhi.
Questioning the locus standi of the complainant Purnesh Modi in filing the complaint in the first place, Singhvi submitted:
“This appeal must succeed because law doesn’t permit such complaints. Not anyone from the 13 crore people (with Modi surname) can come and file a complaint except the ones named in the speech. It is not even their case that I named Mr. Purnesh Modi.”
Gujarat High Court summer vacation starts from Monday May 08, 2023 to Sunday June 04, 2023. The court opens back on Monday, 5 June.
Rahul Gandhi will have to wait at least until then to decide his next course of action.