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Rahul Gandhi’s Request to Pause Conviction Rejected by Surat Court

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On April 20, 2023, Surat Court rejected Rahul Gandhi’s request to pause his conviction in a defamation case filed against him for making the ‘Modi Surname’ remark. Gandhi had appealed against the court’s order sentencing him to jail for two years, but the rejection means he cannot be reinstated as a Member of Parliament from Wayanad.

According to trial court judge Robin Mogera, Gandhi failed to demonstrate that not staying the conviction and denying him an opportunity to contest the election would cause him irreversible and irrevocable damage.

Aim For 150, Else BJP Will "Steal" Government: Rahul Gandhi In Karnataka

Rahul Gandhi

The case stems from a speech during the 2019 Lok Sabha campaign in which Gandhi asked, “How come all thieves have the common surname Modi?” BJP MLA and former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi filed the case against him, leading to Gandhi’s conviction and sentence on March 23. He was granted bail for 30 days to appeal the verdict.

With his Lok Sabha seat in Wayanad vacant and due for by-elections, a paused conviction could have reversed Gandhi’s disqualification as an MP. On April 3, he approached the sessions court against the lower court’s order and filed two applications: one to hold the sentence and another to pause his conviction until a decision on his appeal.


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