Bengaluru court grants bail to Rahul Gandhi in defamation case filed by Karnataka BJP

Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has been granted bail in a defamation case by a special court in Bengaluru on Friday. The defamation case was filed by BJP’s Karnataka unit against the publication of advertisements in local newspapers labelling the BJP as corrupt ahead of the 2023 assembly elections. 

Special Magistrate KN Shivakumar granted bail to Rahul Gandhi after registering his appearance in person and listed the matter for further hearing on June 30. Previously, Karnataka Congress chief D K Shivakumar and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah were granted bail on June 1 in the same case. 

Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi is the fourth accused in the defamation case filed by the BJP against the Congress leaders. The Congress party, Shivakumar and Siddaramaiah are the other accused persons.

The BJP, in its complaint alleged that the Congress had defamed the BJP by claiming that the BJP leadership had fixed prices for several postings in the state like Rs 2,500 crore for the Chief Minister’s post and Rs 500 crore for a minister’s post, leading to corruption in governance.

The complaint alleged that the Congress also placed advertisements in newspapers on May 5, 2023, which alleged commissions to the tune of 75 per cent in Covid kit tender deals, 40 per cent for PWD tenders, 30 per cent for grants to religious organisations and other such deals. These aforesaid allegations were termed as an insult to the BJP party during the elections by the BJP state general secretary S Keshav Prasad in a private complaint in the special court on May 8, 2023.

CM Siddaramaiah and DK Shivakumar were granted bail subject to furnishing bail bonds of Rs 5000 each. Rahul Gandhi’s counsel on the same day requested exemption from his appearance due to his participation in an INDIA alliance meeting. Rahul Gandhi appeared before the court today and was granted bail.