Rahul Gandhi Defamation Case: Senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, appearing for complainant Purnesh Modi, said that Rahul Gandhi’s intention was to defame every person with the surname ‘Modi’ just because it is the same as that of a prime minister.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who is representing Rahul Gandhi in Supreme Court, said on Friday that the senior Congress leader’s comments on Modi surname is not an offence against society. “It’s neither rape nor murder, and yet maximum punishment?” Singhvi asked.
“This is the first time 30 crore people have held to be an identifiable class. They are amorphous, non-homogenous. Communities, castes and groups with appellation ‘Modi’ are totally different,” Gandhi’s lawyer said. Replying to the argument, the Supreme Court said, “For the stay on conviction, you’ll have to say some more.”
Senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, appearing for complainant Purnesh Modi, read Rahul Gandhi’s remark in the apex court and said, “His intention was to defame every person with the surname ‘Modi’ just because it is the same as that of a prime minister. You have defamed an entire class out of malice.”
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also told the Supreme Court that the original surname of former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi, who filed a defamation case against him, is not Modi and he belongs to the Modh Vanika Samaj.
Singhvi told a three-judge bench of Justices B R Gavai, P S Narasimha and Sanjay Kumar that his client is not a hardened criminal and there is no conviction in any case despite several cases filed against him by BJP workers.
The top court is hearing a plea by Gandhi challenging the Gujarat High Court verdict which dismissed his plea seeking a stay on his conviction in a defamation case over his “Modi surname” remark.
Purnesh Modi had filed a criminal defamation case in 2019 against Gandhi over his “How come all thieves have Modi as the common surname?” remark made during an election rally in Kolar in Karnataka on April 13, 2019.