Rahul Gandhi Gets Bail In 2019 Defamation Case, No Stay On Conviction Yet

This comes ten days after he was sentenced to two years in prison by a Surat court for his Modi surname remark.
Rahul Gandhi Gets Bail In 2019 Defamation Case, No Stay On Conviction Yet

The Surat Sessions Court on Monday, 3 April, granted bail to Rahul Gandhi in connection with a 2019 defamation case over his Modi 'surname' remark.

Earlier in the day, Gandhi had filed an appeal against his conviction in the case. His conviction, however, has not been stayed by the Court yet. The case will be heard next 13 April.

BACKGROUND:

This comes ten days after (on 23 March) he was sentenced to two years in prison by a Surat court for reportedly saying, "Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi. How come all the thieves have 'Modi' as a common surname?"

However, soon after the order was passed, Gandhi's sentence was suspended for 30 days to enable him to appeal his conviction.

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Rahul Gandhi Gets Bail In 2019 Defamation Case, No Stay On Conviction Yet

The appeal, “supervised, controlled and advised” by Rajya Sabha MP and senior lawyer Abhishek Singhvi, according to The Indian Express, sought a on the conviction. 

“We are going to file the appeal on Monday at the Surat Sessions court against the lower CJM court verdict in a defamation case against Rahul Gandhi. Gandhi will be present in the court and the legal team of Congress party from Delhi too will be present," Rahul Gandhi’s lawyer in Gujarat Kirit Panwala said, according to The Indian Express.

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A day after his conviction, he was disqualified as an MP from Lok Sabha and then asked to leave his government-alloted bungalow.

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Rahul Gandhi Gets Bail In 2019 Defamation Case, No Stay On Conviction Yet

Several senior party leaders, including AICC General Secretary in charge of organisation K C Venugopal, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Digvijaya Singh and Anand Sharma will also reportedly accompany Gandhi to the sessions court in Gujarat.

The former Congress president need not appear in court for the next hearing.

If Rahul Gandhi's conviction is not reversed, his disqualification as an MP will stand and he will be barred from contesting elections for eight years. He has already started packing after agreeing to vacate his government bungalow.

"This is a fight to save democracy, against 'Mitrakal'. In this struggle, truth is my weapon, and truth is my support," Rahul Gandhi tweeted

After the court order, Mr Gandhi tweeted he is fighting against "Mitrakal", alluding to the ruling BJP, often the target of the Congress over allegations of misusing government agencies to harass the opposition.

Rahul Gandhi at Surat airport to take a flight back to Delhi after filing an appeal in Surat District Court against his conviction in 2019 defamation case on 'Modi surname' remark

He is accompanied by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Bhupesh Baghel & other leaders of Congress party.

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