(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi has been sentenced to two years in prison by a local court in a criminal defamation case.
He will not go to prison immediately – he has been given bail for 30 days and can file an appeal against the order.
Gandhi was convicted for his 2019 comments about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surname during an election rally.
The Congress party MP was in court when the judge delivered the order.
Speaking at an election rally in Karnataka state ahead of the 2019 general election, Gandhi had asked why all thieves have ‘Modi’ as a common surname – according to media reports from the time, he was referring to fugitive diamond tycoon Nirav Modi and former Indian Premier League chief Lalit Modi.
The case was filed on the basis of a complaint by Purnesh Modi, a lawmaker from India’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party, who said that Gandhi’s comments had defamed the entire Modi community.
Gandhi’s lawyers had argued that the right legal procedures had not been followed in the case.
They also said that Narendra Modi should have been the complainant as Purnesh Modi was not the target of Gandhi’s speech.
Source – BBC