Congress leader and MP Rahul Gandhi on Thursday, in his statement to Surat magisterial court in a defamation case, said that in his poll speech he had indeed mentioned Modi surname, but that was specifically referring to prime minister Narendra Modi and had no intention to defame any particular community or anyone else.

Rahul Gandhi was in Surat on Thursday to record his statement with the Surat magisterial court in ‘Modi surname’ defamation case filed by BJP MLA from Surat West, Purnesh Modi.

“Rahul Gandhi recorded his final statement with the court today. He said that his mentioning of the Modi surname was just to show the misdeeds of PM Narendra Modi and not to defame anyone else or a particular community. Besides, as far as he knew, there wasn’t any community named Modi,” Kirit Panwala, Gandhi’s advocate told the IANS.

“Gandhi said to the court that as a leader from the opposition it was his duty to highlight the misdeeds of the prime minister and that indeed he did by mentioning his surname, but as far as any other Modi was concerned, he never had any intention of defaming him or her,” added Panwala.

“The complainant tried to stall this recording of Gandhi’s final statement by filing three different applications, all of which were rejected by the court. The court observed that those contentions had been addressed in another application filed by the complainant in the Gujarat High court,” added Panwala.

Earlier in the day, the Congress leader arrived at the Surat court to record the final statement. Soon after his submission, Rahul Gandhi left for Delhi.

The Surat West legislator from BJP, Purnesh Modi had filed a complaint against Gandhi in April 2019 under IPC sections 499 and 500, alleging that Gandhi had defamed the entire Modi community by his remarks during a poll campaign rally in Kolar, Karnataka.

Purnesh Modi had alleged that Rahul Gandhi had defamed the entire Modi community by saying, “How come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?” while addressing the poll rally.

A week ago, Chief Judicial Magistrate of Surat A.N. Dave had directed Rahul Gandhi to remain present on June 24 to record his final statement in the case.

“The magistrate has scheduled the next hearing in the case on July 12, where the arguments will begin, as the recording of the statements of the witnesses and the accused is over,” informed Panwala.

–IANS

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