India Supreme Court on Friday stayed the sentence of Rahul Gandhi in the ‘Modi surname’ case. In 2019, Rahul Gandhi started ‘The Modi surname’. For which BJP MLA Purnesh Modi had reached the lower court of Surat.
The lower court had sentenced Rahul Gandhi to two years. Within 24 hours of this decision of the court, his membership in the Lok Sabha was cancelled. The Lok Sabha Secretariat issued a notice using the Representation of the People Act to cancel Rahul Gandhi’s membership of Parliament.
Although Rahul Gandhi went to the Gujarat High Court against the decision, there too his sentence was upheld. After the High Court, Rahul Gandhi reached the Supreme Court and on Friday the Supreme Court gave its decision on this. Along with this, the court has also asked Rahul Gandhi to be careful while commenting.
Congress leader and former MP Rahul Gandhi had reportedly said during a political rally in Kolar, Karnataka in 2019 that “How come all thieves have Modi as their surname?” The whole controversy started from here. After the decision of the Supreme Court on Friday, Rahul Gandhi said in his reaction, “If not today, then, if not tomorrow, then the day after tomorrow truth wins, but whatever happens, my path is clear.
What do I have to do, what is my job? I have absolute clarity about that in my mind. I thank the people who helped us and the people who gave their love and support.” He said, “Come what may, my duty will remain the same… to protect the Idea of India.”
The Supreme Court said that “under section 499 of the Indian Penal Code, the offense is punishable with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.” “In this case of defamation, the trial court did not give any reason other than the arguments of the plaintiff for awarding the maximum sentence.” “It is to be noted that it was because of this two-year sentence that the provisions of Section 8(3) of the Representation of the People Act came into force and the petitioner’s membership was cancelled. Had this sentence been reduced even by a day, this rule would not have been applicable.”
“Particularly in cases where the offence is non-compoundable, bailable and cognizable, the trial judge is expected to give reasons for awarding the maximum sentence.” “Though the High Court has spent several pages explaining the reasons for dismissing the appeal, these aspects do not seem to have been considered.” Along with this, the Supreme Court also said to Rahul Gandhi that a person in public life is expected to take precautions during his public speeches.
The Supreme Court also said that the implementation of Section 8(3) of the Representation of the People Act affects not only the rights of the petitioner but also the rights of the voters of his constituency. Therefore keeping in mind that the trial court has not given any reason for the maximum sentence, the sentence of Rahul Gandhi is being stayed.