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"Surat court's decision a slap on Gandhi family's face": BJP on Rahul's plea dismissal

New Delhi: Hailing the Surat court order dismissing Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's plea seeking a stay on his conviction in a defamation case, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday called that the appellate court's decision a "slap on the face of the Gandhi family".
The BJP said that the court proved that the law is equal for all and "there cannot be preferential treatment for any family". This comes after the Surat court on Thursday dismissed Rahul Gandhi's application in which he had sought a stay on his conviction in the 2019 criminal defamation case on the 'Modi surname' remark.
The former Wayanad MP will now have to appeal in Gujarat High Court or Supreme Court against the Surat court's order.
Addressing a press conference on the issue, BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra said that the decision is a victory for the people of the country.
"The decision of the Appellate Court of Surat has come today, there is an atmosphere of happiness in the whole country. The backward class for whom Rahul Gandhi had used objectionable words and abused them... and by doing all this, the Gandhi family thought that they would get away with it, that has not happened," he said.
"Court's decision is a slap on the face of the Gandhi family. Today the court of Surat proves that the law is equal for all," Patra added.
Describing the court's order as a special moment for the judiciary, the BJP leader said that it states that "no protests, or mobilisation can make the judiciary buckle under pressure".
"One thing is clear from today's decision that in this country the constitution rules, the family does not rule and there cannot be preferential treatment for any family," he said.
Earlier on April 3, the Surat Sessions Court granted bail to the Congress leader, who had filed an appeal following his conviction in the case.
While granting bail to the former MP, the court also issued notices to complainant Purnesh Modi and the state government on the Congress leader's plea for a stay on his conviction. It heard both parties and then reserved the order for April 20.
Rahul Gandhi was a Lok Sabha MP from Wayanad but was disqualified after a lower court in Surat sentenced him to two years in jail on March 23 under sections 499 and 500 (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in a case filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Purnesh Modi.
The case pertained to a remark Rahul Gandhi made using the surname 'Modi' while addressing a campaign event ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
At a rally in Karnataka's Kolar in April 2019, Rahul, in a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said, "How come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?".
Following his conviction, Rahul was disqualified as an MP on March 24, as per a Supreme Court ruling in 2013. Under the ruling, any MP or MLA is automatically disqualified if convicted and sentenced to two years or more. (ANI)

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