NEW DELHI: A court in western India Thursday found opposition leader Rahul Gandhi guilty of defamation for a speech he made in 2019 in which he referred to thieves as having the surname Modi, and sentenced him two years in prison.
Gandhi was present at the court in Surat, a city in Gujarat, which is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state. He was given bail and the sentence was suspended for 30 days.
The criminal defamation case was filed against Gandhi by a leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after a speech during the 2019 general election in which he referred to the surname Modi and asked how all thieves had the surname.
The court found Rahul Gandhi’s comment to be defamatory. The court found him guilty under IPC Section 499, read with 500. He has been sentenced to two years in jail, Ketan Reshamwala Advocate for complainant Purnesh Modi said.
Gandhi said in court that he had made the comment to highlight corruption and not against any community.