Gujarat court sentences Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to two years in jail

A Surat Court in Gujarat has convicted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in connection with a 2019 criminal defamation case filed against him over his “Modi surname” remarks. The court also announced a 2-year jail term as quantum of punishment. The court of Chief Judicial Magistrate HH Varma, however, granted Rahul Gandhi bail and suspended the sentence for 30 days to allow him to appeal in a higher court.

Rahul Gandhi said in the rally - "how come all thieves have Modi as the common surname?"

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad charged Mr Gandhi with insulting an entire community, and not just one surname, pointing to his alleged “how come all thieves have Modi as the common surname?” remarks at a 2019 pre-election rally in Karnataka.

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As a result of this order, Rahul Gandhi might lose his membership as an MP and Wayanad Parliamentary constituency may witness a by-poll. Rahul Gandhi was present in the court when the verdict was pronounced.

The Congress leader had made the remarks while addressing a rally at Kolar in Karnataka ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

BJP MLA Purnesh Modi had filed the case against Rahul Gandhi for his remarks. The verdict comes a shot in the arm for the BJP which has long been demanding Rahul Gandhi and the Congress to apologise for the remarks. Reacting to the court order, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju said whenever Rahul Gandhi says something, he invites embarrassment to the nation and his party. The case against Mr Gandhi was filed after former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi lodged a complaint alleging his remarks at Kolar, Karnataka had defamed the entire Modi community.