Surat court suspends Rahul Gandhi’s sentence, grants bail; next hearing on April 13

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The Surat Sessions Court suspended the sentence awarded to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in the criminal defamation case over his remark “why all thieves share the Modi surname” in which he was convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment by the magisterial court. The court supended Mr. Gandhi’s sentence till the disposal of his appeal.

The court also granted bail to the Congress leader and posted the matter for hearing on April 13. Mr. Gandhi was awarded two years imprisonment in the criminal defamation case.

“This is a fight to save democracy, against ‘ Mitrakal’. In this struggle, truth is my weapon, and truth is my support,” Mr. Gandhi tweeted in Hindi after the court’s suspension of his sentence.

Earlier, after arriving from Delhi, Mr. Gandhi moved an appeal in the Surat Sessions Court challenging his conviction.

The appeal has been accompanied by two applications, the first application is for Suspension of Sentence, which is essentially an application for regular bail, and the second application is for Suspension of Conviction.

He was convicted based on a criminal defamation case filed by BJP legislator Purnesh Modi, who had approached the court contending that Mr. Gandhi’s statement had defamed the Modi community.

His sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and several senior leaders, including AICC General Secretary in charge of organisation K.C. Venugopal, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Digvijaya Singh and Anand Sharma also accompanied Mr. Gandhi to the sessions court in Surat.

Mr. Gehlot received Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka at Surat Airport.

Mr. Gandhi was convicted and sentenced on March 23 in the 2019 defamation case. Subsequently, he was disqualified as a member of Lok Sabha the next day.

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