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Surat Court grants bail to Rahul Gandhi; next hearing on Apr. 13

Disqualification would create a ‘sympathy wave’ in Karnataka, claims Dr. Veerappa Moily

New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was granted bail yesterday by a Sessions Court in Surat in a 2019 criminal defamation case over his “Modi surname” remark. The Court will hear on April 13 the Congress leader’s plea seeking a stay of his conviction in the case in which he was awarded two-year jail term that led to his disqualification from the Lok Sabha.

Rahul Gandhi has filed two applications, first for suspension of sentence, which is essentially an application for regular bail, and the second for suspension of conviction.

The former Congress chief was on Mar. 23 held guilty and sentenced to two years in jail by a Magistrate’s Court in the defamation case. He was later granted bail for 30 days to appeal the verdict. A day later, he was disqualified as a member of Lok Sabha under provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

Rahul Gandhi, in his appeal filed in the Sessions Court against his conviction, said that the order was “erroneous and patently perverse” and that he was sentenced in a manner so as to attract disqualification as a Member of Parliament.

The Congress leader also alleged that he was treated harshly by the trial Court which was “overwhelmingly influenced” by his status as an MP, and maintained there is no such thing as a definite Modi samaj or community on record.

The Court will take up hearing on the appeal against the conviction on Apr. 13. It will further hear the application on sentencing on May 3. “He was granted bail by the Court. The sentencing was also stayed. Now, the application for the stay of conviction is posted for hearing on Apr. 13,” a lawyer involved in the matter said.

‘Peak of vendetta politics’

Meanwhile, senior party leader Dr. M. Veerappa Moily said in Bengaluru yesterday that the dis-qualification of Rahul Gandhi as a Lok Sabha member would be a campaign issue for the Congress in the Assembly elections in Karnataka and it would contribute to the defeat of the BJP government in the State.

Asked if the disqualification issue would serve to the “political advantage” of the Congress in the poll-bound State, Dr. Moily said: “It’s everywhere in the country; after all, it (the issue) shows that it’s the peak of vendetta politics”.

The post Surat Court grants bail to Rahul Gandhi; next hearing on Apr. 13 appeared first on Star of Mysore.

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