Congress leader Rahul Gandhi appeared before a magistrate’s court in Surat on Thursday to record his statement in a criminal defamation suit filed by a Gujarat MLA, and denied making any defamatory remarks on people with ‘Modi’ surname. This pertains to a complaint lodged by BJP MLA from Surat West, Purnesh Modi, under Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code. The legislator accused the Wayanad MP of defaming the entire Modi community.
In his statement before Surat’s Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) A N Dave, Gandhi denied making any defamatory remarks on people with Modi surname during a rally at Kolar in Karnataka ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. He also wrote on Twitter, “The whole secret of existence is to have no fear”. When the court asked if he had said all people with Modi surname are thieves, Gandhi claimed he never said such words. Besides, to most of the remaining questions related to the evidence and statements of witnesses in the case, Gandhi said “I don’t know”. Speaking to the media thereafter, Modi’s counsel stated that Gandhi feigned ignorance about his contentious 2019 speech. Moreover, he revealed that the court rejected their plea to present two witnesses for which they have approached the High Court. The matter was adjourned to July 12.