Defamation Case: Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi Defends 'Modis Are Thieves' Remark In Surat Court, Pleads Not Guilty
The former Congress chief told the court that he did not say anything wrong when he wondered why all thieves shared the Modi surname.
When asked by the court whether he accepts the charges, Gandhi pleaded not guilty. The former Congress chief told the court that he did not say anything wrong when he wondered why all thieves shared the Modi surname. The charges were leveled against him by BJP legislator from Surat-West, Purnesh Modi.
After Gandhi's plea was recorded, his lawyers moved an application seeking a permanent exemption from personal appearance in the next hearings. However, Modi's lawyers raised an objection to the exemption plea, to which the court later said it will decide on the same on December 10. The court said Gandhi is not required to remain present during the next hearing on that date.
Watch | Rahul Gandhi did not accept his guilt in the defamation case
During the last hearing in July, the court had granted Gandhi exemption from personal appearance for that hearing and fixed October 10 as the next date of hearing. In his complaint, the BJP legislator had alleged the Congress leader had defamed the entire Modi community with his remarks, made during the Lok Sabha campaign this year.
The court, while admitting the suit, had held that there was a prima facie case of criminal defamation against the Lok Sabha member from Wayanad. At a campaign rally at Kolar in Karnataka on April 13, Gandhi had said, "Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi... how come they all have Modi as a common surname? How come all thieves have Modi as a common surname?" In his complaint, Purnesh Modi had said the Congress leader had defamed the entire Modi community with his statement.
Meanwhile tomorrow, Gandhi will appear before a court in Ahmadabad in connection with a criminal defamation case lodged by Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank. It was lodged by the chairman of the bank, Ajay Patel, after Gandhi accused it of being involved in a scam to swap demonetised notes worth Rs750 crore within days of demonetization.
(With inputs from agencies)
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