Patna court summons Rahul Gandhi in ‘Modi surname’ case on April 12

‘I do hope that, like the Surat court, this court too will take cognisance of my petition and give him appropriate punishment,’ Bihar BJP leader and petitioner Sushil Kumar Modi said in a video message

March 30, 2023 06:57 pm | Updated March 31, 2023 09:22 am IST - Patna

Former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and BJP MP Sushil Kumar Modi. File

Former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and BJP MP Sushil Kumar Modi. File | Photo Credit: PTI

After a Gujarat court sentenced Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to two years in prison, a Patna court has reportedly summoned him on Thursday to appear before it on April 12 to record his statement in the defamation case filed by senior Bihar BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member Sushil Kumar Modi over Mr. Gandhi’s “Modi surname” remark of 2019 in Karnataka’s Kolar while campaigning for Parliamentary elections.

“Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, with his remark made during the 2019 Lok Sabha election that all those having Modi surname are thieves, in Kolar in Karnataka, insulted Backward Class people like me, and I had filed a defamation petition against him at the court of Patna’s Chief Judicial Magistrate. Now the MP/MLA Court has issued summons to him to appear before it to record his statement,” Mr. Modi said in a video message. “Rahul Gandhi had to surrender in the case on July 6, 2019 and currently he is on bail in the case,” he added.

“From my side in the case, the statement of all four witnesses has already been recorded in the court,” Mr. Modi added. Apart from Mr. Modi, BJP leaders and MLAs Nitin Navin, Sanjiv Chaurasia and the party’s youth wing leader, Manish Kumar, have recorded their statements in the case.

On March 23, a court in Surat in Gujarat convicted Congress Mr. Gandhi in a similar defamation case and sentenced him to two years in prison, which led to his disqualification from the Lok Sabha. After Mr. Gandhi’s conviction, Opposition parties protested vehemently within and outside the Parliament and in State Assemblies, including Bihar. Mr. Gandhi has also been served notice to vacate his bungalow in Delhi.

“I do hope that, like the Surat court, which has convicted Mr. Gandhi in the case, this court [in Patna] too will take cognisance of my petition and give him appropriate punishment,” Mr. Modi said in his video message released to media persons.

Congress leaders ‘unaware’

Meanwhile, Bihar Congress leaders said they weren’t aware of the summons issued to Mr. Gandhi. “I am not aware yet of any summon by a court in Patna to my leader Rahul Gandhi so how can I say whether he will appear before it on April 12 or not?” a senior State Congress leader, preferring anonymity, told The Hindu.

“If the court has issued summons, Mr. Gandhi would like to appear before it to record his statement. Let’s see what happens but everyone knows in the country today that these are just politically motivated petitions against our party leader,” another senior Congress leader said on condition of anonymity.

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