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Bombay High Court extended interim relief to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi

IndiaBombay High Court extended interim relief to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi

On August 2nd, the Bombay High Court extended the interim relief provided to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for the defamation suit filed against him.

The Bombay High Court excused him from appearing before a magistrate court in Bhiwandi. until September 26. The case relates to a defamation suit filed against him by a member of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) concerning his statement referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as ‘Commander in Thief.’

Justice S.V. Kotwal, presiding as a Single Bench, extended the interim relief initially granted to Gandhi in November 2021. Gandhi contested the summons issued to him by the magistrate court in connection with the case.

The complaint was filed by Mahesh Shrishrimal, a member of the BJP Maharashtra State Committee, on September 20, 2018. It alleges that during public rallies in Jaipur and Amethi, Gandhi defamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP party members with the remark ‘choukidar chor hain’ (guard is a thief). According to the complainant, these derogatory remarks have tarnished the image of the Prime Minister both nationally and internationally. The statements were broadcasted by various news channels, newspapers, and on social media, leading to severe defamation.

The metropolitan magistrate court issued a summons to Gandhi on August 28, 2019, stating that his presence was necessary to address a charge under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which deals with punishment for defamation. The court believed that the complainant, being a member of the BJP, had standing to file the complaint, and the alleged defamation affected not only the Prime Minister but also other BJP members. The court deemed that the complainant had established a prima facie case for the issuance of process against Gandhi under Section 500 of the IPC

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