Surat Court Holds Rahul Gandhi Guilty In Defamation Case Over ‘Modi Surname’ Remark

New Delhi: A Surat court on Thursday held Congress MP Rahul Gandhi guilty in a 2019 defamation case for his alleged ‘Modi surname’ remark during the 2019 Lok Sabha poll campaign. 

The Wayanad MP reached the city this morning after the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate HH Varma had concluded hearing final arguments from both sides last week and set March 23 to pronounce the judgment in the four-year-old defamation case. 

The case was filed against the Wayanad MP 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. Gandhi made the alleged remarks while addressing a rally at Kolar in Karnataka ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

In his complaint, the BJP MLA alleged that Gandhi  while addressing the poll rally in 2019, defamed the entire Modi community by purportedly saying, “How come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?” Modi was a minister in the first tenure of the Bhupendra Patel government. The ruling party legislator was re-elected from the Surat West Assembly seat in the December elections.

A case was registered against the Congress leader under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 499 and 500 (dealing with defamation). Gandhi last appeared in the Surat court in October 2021 to record his statement. Before that, the Congress MP had appeared in the court to plead not guilty to charges levelled against him.