Gujarat HC reserves verdict on Rahul Gandhi's plea seeking stay in defamation case

Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi. Photo: PTI

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday refused to give interim relief to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on his plea seeking a stay on his conviction in a criminal defamation case.

The Bench of Justice Hemant Prachchhak reserved its order and also refused to grant any interim protection to Rahul Gandhi.

The decision on whether a stay would be granted on his conviction would be delivered by the bench after the High Court vacation.

The arguments were reserved after hearing Senior Advocate Nirupam Nanvaty, who represents the complainant Purnnesh Modi, and Senior Advocate Abhishek Sighvi representing the Congress leader.

Nanavaty contended that Rahul Gandhi was not disqualified by Court or by the complainant but by the operation of a law made by Parliament and hence, he can not argue that he is suffering an irreversible loss.

He further submitted in the Court that Rahul Gandhi has shown no remorse for his statements ("why do all thieves share Modi surname") made in 2019 in a public rally in Karnataka's Kolar and, after he was convicted by the Surat Court on March 23, he conducted a press conference wherein he called the conviction a 'gift' for him.

On the other hand, Singhvi argued before the bench that the alleged offence did not involve the element of moral turpitude, it was a non-cognizable, bailable and non-serious offence and therefore, the conviction should be suspended.

He also argued that the Court should see that in Gandhi's case, the factor of the irreversibility of the situation is involved as being an elected MP, he has lost his right to be a representative of the people due to the conviction.

Having heard the arguments of both sides, the Court reserved its verdict.

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