Surat, June 23 (UNI): Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will appear in a court here on Thursday in connection with a defamation case filed two years ago by local BJP MLA Purnesh Modi for his alleged derogatory remarks against the Modi community during an election rally.
Gujarat Congress president Amit Chavda said Gandhi would arrive here on Thursday around 10 am and leave the city around 12.30 pm after appearing in the court.
Earlier, he had appeared in the court on October 10, 2019, a day before his appearance in two metropolitan courts in Ahmedabad in connection with as many defamation cases. There are a total of three defamation cases against him in Gujarat. The Ahmedabad courts have exempted him from personal appearances.
The defamation case in Surat was filed by Purnesh citing Gandhi’s remarks at an election rally in Kolar of Karnataka in the last general elections, in which he had allegedly said ‘Sabhi Modi Chor hain’ (all Modis are thieves) in a reference to the surnames of fugitive businessman and PNB scam accused Nirav Modi, former IPL chairman Lalit Modi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Gandhi had pleaded not guilty during the first appearance in this case of criminal defamation filed under sections 499 and 500 of the IPC.
Of the two other defamation suits against Gandhi in Gujarat (both in Ahmedabad), one is filed by Krishnavadan Brahmbhatt, a local BJP corporator, for his remarks at an election rally in Jabalpur on April 23, 2019.
The Congress leader had allegedly said, “Murder-accused BJP chief Amit Shah, wah, kya shaan hai (how glorious)!”
Brahmbhatt contended that this was slanderous as Shah was acquitted by a CBI court in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case in 2015, and the higher courts did not entertain appeals against the acquittal.
Gandhi had pleaded not guilty i.e., he said that he had not done any wrong and denied the allegations. He was later granted bail in the matter.
The other defamation case in Ahmedabad has been filed in connection with his said remarks and tweets about the alleged involvement of ADC bank in large scale exchange of scrapped notes during demonetization. He had taken a jibe at Shah, who was a director of the bank. Gandhi was granted bail in this case too.