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Rahul Gandhi skips Patna court hearing over ‘Modi’ remark

The court asked Rahul Gandhi to show up in person today and give his statement under Section 313 of the CRPC, but he skipped the court hearing.

He was busy with a rally in Kerala. His bail bond should be cancelled for not appearing, said S D Sanjay and Priya Gupta, who are the lawyers for Sushil Modi.

Anshul, who is representing Rahul Gandhi, said that the former Congress leader could not come to the court because he has another court date in Surat, Gujarat on April 13.

“He has a legal team that is preparing for the Surat case tomorrow. I requested the court to grant him one more chance. I assured the court that he will be present on the next date and I am willing to give a guarantee,” he said.

On March 23, a lower court in Surat, Gujarat had convicted Gandhi for the same remark and sentenced him to two years in prison, which would disqualify him from the Parliament. Gandhi’s appeal for a stay on his conviction and sentence will be heard by a Surat sessions court on Thursday.

Gupta said she challenged the petition filed by Gandhi’s lawyer under Section 317 of the CRPC. “The court took it seriously and ordered Rahul’s lawyer to make sure he appears in person before the court on April 25,” she added.

Section 313 gives the trial court the authority to question the accused and clarify the evidence against him.

Section 317 allows the judge or Magistrate to excuse the presence of an accused in a trial or inquiry if the court thinks it is appropriate.

Gandhi had made a remark at a campaign rally in Kolar, Karnataka on April 13, 2019, where he said, “How come all thieves have Modi as the common surname?.”

Sushil Modi filed a complaint against Gandhi in the CJM court of Patna under IPC Sections 499 and 500 on April 18 of that year. He claimed that Gandhi’s remark hurt his feelings.

Purnesh Modi, a BJP MLA from Gujarat, also filed a case against Gandhi in Surat. He opposed Gandhi’s request for a stay in the Surat sessions court on Tuesday.

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