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Rahul arrives in Surat today in defamation case

Surat: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is expected to appear before a magistrate’s court in Surat on Thursday to record his final statement in a criminal defamation suit filed by a Gujarat MLA over the former’s remark on the “Modi surname”.

Chief Judicial Magistrate of Surat A N Dave had last week directed Rahul Gandhi to remain present on June 24 to record his final statement in a defamation case filed by BJP MLA from Surat, Purnesh Modi, advocate Feroz Khan Pathan, a legal cell member of the Surat Congress, said on Wednesday.

Purnesh Modi had filed a complaint against Rahul Gandhi in April 2019 under IPC sections 499 and 500 that deal with defamation.

In his complaint, the MLA from Surat-West constituency had alleged that Rahul Gandhi had defamed the entire Modi community by saying “How come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?” while addressing a poll rally in 2019.

In an election rally held at Kolar in Karnataka on April 13, 2019, Rahul Gandhi had reportedly asked, “Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi...how come they all have Modi as the common surname. How come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?”

He was the Congress president when he had made this remark.

Earlier, Rahul Gandhi had appeared before the court in October 2019 and had pleaded not guilty for his comment. Purnesh Modi had earlier sought to examine witnesses in the defamation case but this was rejected by a lower court. He had subsequently moved the Gujarat High Court challenging this. The plea is pending.

“Rahulji is expected to attend the court proceedings on Thursday in a false defamation suit filed against him. He will arrive at 10 am and leave at 12.30 pm. He is coming only to attend the court proceedings,” Gujarat Congress president Amit Chavda told reporters.

Chavda said Gandhi would only be attending the court proceedings and no other engagements or political meetings had been planned.

Meanwhile, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Manish Sisodia, who was also to be in Surat to welcome several local leaders from other parties, a Gujarati folk singer and an industrialist, on Wednesday evening postponed his visit owing to health concerns. He also tweeted about this.


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