Rahul Gandhi sentenced to two years’ imprisonment over ‘Modi surname’ remark

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during a press briefing, at the party headquarters, in New Delhi on 16 March 2023ANI

The Surat District Court on Thursday sentenced Congress MP Rahul Gandhi to two years’ imprisonment in a criminal defamation case filed against him over his alleged ‘Modi surname’ remark.

He was later granted bail by the court.

“The court has suspended the punishment for 30 days and granted bail to Rahul Gandhi,” said an advocate at Surat district court.

Meanwhile, Union law minister Kiren Rijiju outside Parliament said, “I will see the details of the order before I say anything. Whatever Rahul Gandhi speaks it always affects the Congress party and the entire nation in a negative way. Some Congress MPs told me that because of his attitude, Congress is suffering.”

Earlier in the day, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was held guilty by a court in Surat in a 2019 criminal defamation case filed against him over his alleged ‘Modi surname’ remarks.

The Surat District Court pronounced the verdict in the case for his alleged “how come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?” remarks on a complaint lodged by BJP MLA and former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi.

Rahul Gandhi had made the alleged remarks about Modi’s surname at a rally in Karnataka’s Kolar, ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

Last week, the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate HH Varma concluded hearing final arguments from both sides and set 23 March to pronounce its judgment in the four-year-old defamation case.