Thursday, September 28, 2023

Patna High Court adjourns hearing in Rahul Gandhi plea to quash criminal defamation case

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The hearing has been adjourned by High court of Patna in the plea by Rahul Gandhi to quash a criminal defamation case filed against him by the Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Kumar Modi in Patna Court, over his ‘Modi-Theives’ remark.

As per the information,the interim relief of stay on proceedings which was granted by the High Court on April 24, would continue to operate till the next date of hearing.

Currently,the Patna High Court is dealing with a criminal complaint filed by Sushil Modi under Section 500 of the IPC (Defamation) over Gandi’s alleged remark why all thieves share the Modi surname” made in 2019 during a political rally.

It is Modi’s case that Gandhi made the derogatory remark targetting people having the ‘Modi’ surname. Gandhi obtained bail in the case in the year 2019.

The High court after hearing the matter on April 24,had granted a stay on the proceeding before the Patna Court.
This order was passed days after a supplementary verdict upleaded that since for the alleged remark, Gandhi has been tried and convicted by the Surat Court, therefore, now the case pending before the Patna Court would be hit by the doctrine of double jeopardy as enshrined under Section 300 of CrPC and Article 20 (2) of the Constitution of India.

For context, while Article 20 (2) states that no person shall be prosecuted and punished for the same offence more than once, Section 300 (1) CrPC bars the trial of a person not only for the same offence but also for any other offence on the same facts.

In this regard, the affidavit further states that in the instant case that the fact in issue, questions of law involved and the accused are one and the same and the same speech is the foundation both in the instant as well as in the case at Surat, and the only difference is that the complainants in the two cases are different.

This affidavit was filed days after the Patna Court directed Gandhi to appear before it on April 25 to record his statements under section 313 CrPC.

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