NEW DELHI: In a huge relief for Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Supreme Court on Friday stayed his conviction in the ‘Modi surname’ case.

The top court said that the trial court did not give reason to justify maximum sentence of two years to Rahul which resulted in his diqualification as MP.
The apex court was hearing an appeal filed by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi challenging Gujarat high court order which declined to stay his conviction in the criminal defamation case over his ‘Modi surname’ remarks.

Appearing for Rahul, senior advocate told the Supreme Court that the Congress leader is not a hardened criminal and there is no conviction in any case despite several cases filed against him by BJP workers.
“In democracy we have dissent, in democracy we have disagreement. What we call ‘shaleen bhasha’. Rahul Gandhi is not a hardened criminal. There are many cases filed by BJP workers, but there was never any conviction. Rahul has already missed two sessions of the Parliament,” Singhvi said.
Appearing for Rahul, he also told the Supreme Court that the original surname of former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi, who filed the defamation case against the former Congress president, is not Modi. “Purnesh Modi’s original surname is not Modi. He belongs to Modh Vanika Samaj,” the senior advocate told a three-judge bench of Justices BR Gavai, P S Narasimha and Sanjay Kumar.
Purnesh Modi had filed a criminal defamation case in 2019 against Rahul 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.

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