Gujarat court asks Rahul Gandhi to appear in defamation case today
For Printing Download Epaper from files section from bottom of this page
A magistrate court in Surat has directed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to appear before it on Friday to record his statement in connection with a criminal defamation case against him over his remark on the Modi surname. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Surat Purnesh Modi filed a complaint against Rahul in April 2019 under sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) that deal with defamation. In his complaint, Purnesh alleged that Rahul Gandhi while addressing a poll rally in 2019 defamed the entire Modi community. In his speech at a rally in Karnataka's Kolar on April 13, 2019, ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Rahul Gandhi reportedly asked, "Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi...how come they all have Modi as the common surname. How come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?" Earlier this week, chief judicial magistrate of the magistrate court AN Dave asked Rahul Gandhi to appear on Friday to record his statement further after the testimony of two new witnesses--the then electoral officer of Kolar in Karnataka where the Congress leader made the speech and a video recorder employed by the Election Commission to record his speech-- were taken since the Congress leader last appeared before the court on June 24 this year. He appeared before the court in October 2019 and pleaded not guilty for his comment. "The court on Monday orally directed Rahul Gandhi to appear on October 29 to record his further statement over the testimonies of two new witnesses. He is likely to remain present before the court between 3pm and 6pm on that day," Gandhi's lawyer Kirit Panwala said on Monday, according to news agency PTI. Purnesh Modi is now a minister in the new Gujarat government led by chief minister Bhupendra Patel, holding the portfolios of road and building, transport, civil aviation and tourism and pilgrimage development.