The Gujarat High Court on Friday dismissed a plea by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to suspend his conviction in a defamation case for his remark as to why all thieves had Modi surname.
A bench of Justice Hemant Prachchhak pronounced the judgement, stating that in view of Gandhi's conduct and other pending cases against him, the conviction in the present case would not do any injustice to him.
The court also pointed out it is well settled law that stay on conviction is not a rule but rather an exception.
"Moreover, as many as 10 criminal cases are pending against the applicant. It is now the need of the hour to have purity in politics...After the complaint in the present case, another complaint was filed at Pune by the grandson of Veer Savarkar against the applicant," the bench said.
The High Court had reserved the judgement in the case on May 2.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi argued for the Congress leader and senior advocate Nirupam Nanavati appeared for complainant Purnesh Modi.
Public Prosecutor Mitesh Amin represented the state.
In April, a sessions court in Surat dismissed a plea by Rahul Gandhi to stay his conviction in the defamation case, affecting his chances to get back his status as Member of Parliament.
It said as the MP and President of the second largest political party and looking to such stature of appellant, he should have been more careful with his words, which would have large impact on the mind of people.
Additional Sessions Judge Robin P Mogera rejected Gandhi's application filed under Sections 389 and 389(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for staying the conviction imposed by the judgment and order of March 23, 2023 by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Surat.
Gandhi was held guilty for the offence of defamation for his 2019 remarks as to 'why all thieves had Modi Surname'.