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Defamation suit against Rahul Gandhi over his remark about ‘Modi surname’

Defamation suit against Rahul Gandhi over his remark about ‘Modi surname’ is dismissed by the Surat Court. Rahul Gandhi Defamation Case: Defamation action against the Congress MP for allegedly disparaging the Modi name was dismissed by Surat District court on March 5.

A complaint was lodged by BJP MLA and former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi regarding Gandhi’s comments that “all thieves have Modi as their surname.”.

When the Wayanad MP addressed a rally in Kolar in Karnataka before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, he made the alleged remarks. A decision in the four-year-old defamation case was set for March 23 by the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate HH Varma, Gandhi’s lawyer Kirit Panwala said last week.

“In the end, truth will triumph. Gandhi has had many false charges filed against him, but he will emerge from all of them.” said Arjun Modhwadia, a senior Congress leader and MLA.

The last time Gandhi appeared in the Surat court to record his statement was in October 2021 under IPC sections 499 and 500 (dealing with defamation). The BJP MLA Purnesh Modi alleged Gandhi had defamed the entire Modi community in 2019 while addressing a poll rally by saying, “How come all thieves have Modi as the common surname.”

Bhupendra Patel’s first government included Purnesh Modi as a minister. During the December elections, the ruling party legislator won reelection. A stay of proceedings imposed on the complainant’s plea demanding Gandhi’s personal appearance was lifted by the Gujarat High Court last month.

Defendants’ lawyer claimed that CDs and pen drives containing Gandhi’s Kolar speech evidenced that he did indeed utter the Modi surname remarks, and that they were defamatory.

Using section 202 of the CrPC (Code of Criminal Procedure), Gandhi’s lawyer argued that the proceedings were flawed from the beginning. Postponement of issue of process is dealt with in the CrPC. Purnesh Modi was not the main target of Gandhi’s speech, so the PM should have been named as the complainant, not Modi.

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