The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice on an appeal filed by Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi challenging a Gujarat high court order that refused to put on hold his conviction and a two-year jail term in a criminal defamation case, fixing August 4 to hear his plea for staying the guilty verdict. The Apex court bench of justices BR Gavai and PK Mishra heard the petition. The appeal was filed on July 15, exactly a week after the high court dealt a blow to Gandhi’s endeavour to revive his Lok Sabha membership, ruling that the Congress leader “breached modesty” and that his offence involved “moral turpitude”. During the 2019 Lok Sabha campaign, a criminal defamation case was filed against Gandhi for a statement he made. In his remark, Gandhi questioned why individuals such as Lalit Modi and Nirav Modi, who shared the same surname, were all perceived as thieves. On March 23, 2023, the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate in Surat found Gandhi guilty and sentenced him to two years of imprisonment. As a consequence, he was disqualified as a member of Lok Sabha. However, the sentence was later suspended, and he was granted bail on the same day to allow him to appeal his conviction within 30 days.
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