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Gujarat High Court on Friday refused to stay Rahul Gandhi’s conviction in Modi-surname defamation case. Rahul Gandhi had approached the Gujarat High Court assailing his conviction by a Magistrate Court in Surat.

The High Court while upholding the Surat Magistrate’s decision noted that the order of conviction would not result in any injustice to the applicant and that the order was just, proper and legal. While upholding the decision the Surat Court also took note of the pending criminal cases against Rahul Gandhi and said that Representative of People should remain of clear character.


In 2019, ex-MP Rahul Gandhi in his speech had said – “How come all the thieves have ‘Modi’ as common surname?” He had also linked the Prime Minister with fugitives like Nirav Modi and Lalit Modi in his speech.

Purnesh Modi, a former Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Surat West took objection of the speech and approached the Court against Rahul Gandhi’s claiming that speech humiliated and defamed people with Modi surname.

The Surat magistrate court took cognizance of the offence and convicted him with two years of imprisonment observing that since Rahul Gandhi is a Member of Parliament (MP) he should have exercised restrain as whatever he would say would have a greater impact.

It is to be noted that the sentence of two years of imprisonment is the maximum possible punishment of imprisonment in criminal defamation cases. It is also to be noted the effect of such punishment has led to Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification as an MP as Section 8(3) of the Representative of People Act, 1951 mandates that an MP or an MLA who has been convicted for an offence and sentence to imprisonment of two year or more would be liable to be disqualified from the date of conviction for a period of six years.