Rahul Gandhi: Gujarat high court

 Rahul Gandhi: Gujarat high court

Rahul Gandhi: Gujarat high court image

The high court Gujarat has dismissed Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi's appeal seeking a stay on his conviction in a criminal defamation case.

Mr. Gandhi was sentenced to two years in jail in March for his 2019 comments about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's surname at an election rally.

He was disqualified as an MP following his sentencing.

But Mr. Gandhi will not be arrested until he has exhausted all legal appeals as his arrest was put on hold.

Friday's decision is being seen as a setback for the Congress leader as it means he cannot contest national elections due next year.  In the Supreme Court he is expected to appeal.

While dismissing his appeal, the Gujarat high court said Mr. Gandhi's conviction was "just and proper".

In parliament Mr. Gandhi lost his seat  a day after his conviction on 23 March due to a Supreme Court order which says that a lawmaker convicted in a crime and sentenced to two or more years in jail is disqualified with immediate effect.

Gandhi sentenced to jail for Modi 'thieves' remark

Rahul Gandhi loses MP status after conviction

Mr. Gandhi's criticized by The party   conviction and accused the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of political vendetta. The BJP denied this, saying that due judicial process was followed in the case.

The defamation case against Mr. Gandhi, brought by BJP lawmaker Purnesh Modi, revolved around comments Mr. Gandhi made in Karnataka state in 2019 during an election rally.  He said "Why do all these thieves have Modi as their surname? Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi,".

Nirav Modi is a fugitive Indian diamond tycoon while Lalit Modi is a former chief of the Indian Premier League who has been banned for life by the country's cricket board.

Netherland mobile phone

In his complaint, Purnesh Modi alleged that the comments had defamed the entire Modi community. However, Mr. Gandhi said that he made the comment to highlight corruption and it was not directed against any community.

A lower court had granted Mr. Gandhi bail to appeal against his conviction, but it's the stay or suspension of his conviction that's crucial to reinstating him as an MP.

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