The Gujarat High Court refused to stay the conviction of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in criminal defamation case over his Modi surname remark on Friday, quashing for now his hope of returning to parliament and contesting national elections due next year.
The court of Justice Hemant Prachchhak delivered the verdict.
While seeking a stay on the conviction, Gandhi’s counsel, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi had told the HC that by denying Gandhi’s plea for a stay on conviction in such a case of alleged criminal defamation, the court will be “rewriting” the scope of CrPC Section 389.
On March 23, a Surat magistrate court had convicted Gandhi to two years of simple imprisonment in a complaint of criminal defamation filed by Surat West MLA Purnesh Modi, over his remark “why all thieves share the Modi surname” during an election campaign at Kolar in Karnataka in April 2019.
Following the verdict, Gandhi, who then represented Kerala’s Wayanad in the Lok Sabha, was disqualified as an MP under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act.