The Congress party has decided to file a plea with the Supreme Court in response to the Gujarat High Court’s ruling on the former party president Rahul Gandhi conviction in the ‘Modi surname’ defamation case. Rahul Gandhi’s review plea was denied by the Gujarat High Court on Friday, and Congress has now decided to take legal action as a result.
Gujarat High Court’s Verdict
The Gujarat High Court, in its final order, asserted that there are several other criminal defamation complaints pending against Rahul Gandhi, with at least eight such cases. The court stated that the conviction, handed down by the sessions court, was just, proper, and legal, and therefore, did not warrant any interference.
It further emphasized that the refusal to stay the conviction would not result in injustice to Rahul Gandhi. The court highlighted the presence of ten pending criminal cases against him and emphasized that stay of conviction is an exception rather than a rule.
Congress’ Response and Plan of Action
AICC general secretary, Organisation, KC Venugopal, addressing a party program in Kozhikode, stated that Congress would appeal before the Supreme Court, challenging the Gujarat High Court’s order. He mentioned that seeking legal recourse from the highest court is an option available to the party.
Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi expressed trust in the law system and the judiciary, including the Supreme Court, but emphasized that the court of the people holds great importance. Singhvi criticized the alleged misuse of defamation laws and accused BJP workers of stifling free speech by hurling accusations.
Impact on Rahul Gandhi’s Political Career
With the Gujarat High Court’s verdict standing, Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification from parliament will remain in effect. If his request is also rejected by the Supreme Court, he will be ineligible to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in 2024. However, as his two-year sentence had been put on hold by a previous court, he will not be incarcerated.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, in a Hindi Twitter post, supported Rahul Gandhi’s fight for truth and the people’s interests against what she described as an “arrogant regime” resorting to suppressive tactics. Priyanka Gandhi quoted a poem by Ramdhari Singh ‘Dinkar’ and launched a scathing attack on the Modi government.
Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil argued that the Surat Court had no jurisdiction in the case since Rahul Gandhi’s comments were made in Karnataka. He expressed confidence in obtaining justice and stated that the procedure was not followed properly. Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh mentioned that the reasoning of the judge’s verdict is being studied, and the matter will be further pursued.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) welcomed the Gujarat High Court’s decision to reject Rahul Gandhi’s plea for a stay on his conviction in the defamation case. The ruling party highlighted the presence of multiple defamation cases against Gandhi and suggested that if such behavior continues, the law will catch up with him.
BJP MP Ravi Shankar Prasad questioned Congress about their inability to control Rahul Gandhi’s conduct and urged them to train him to speak properly. Prasad emphasized that an apology from Gandhi could have put an end to the matter and criticized his tendency to abuse and defame prominent leaders and organizations.
In conclusion, Congress has decided to approach the Supreme Court after the Gujarat High Court refused to stay Rahul Gandhi’s conviction in the ‘Modi surname’ defamation case. The court’s verdict has implications for Rahul Gandhi’s political future, as his disqualification from parliament will remain unless overturned.
The political parties involved have expressed their respective positions and strategies, with Congress vowing to continue the legal battle and the BJP welcoming the court’s decision.