Rahul Gandhi on Saturday appeared in the court of additional chief judicial magistrate here and pleaded ‘not guilty’ in a defamation case filed by Bihar’s deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi.
Gandhi was granted bail on two sureties of Rs 10,000 each.
Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi had on April 18 filed a defamation case against Gandhi, alleging that he had made defamatory remarks against those having the surname of Modi. In the case, Modi referred the statement of Gandhi at a public meeting in Kolar (Karnataka) on April 13 and found it offensive and derogatory.
Pleading on Gandhi’s behalf in the court of Kumar Gunjan, his counsel, AN Singh and Sanjay Pandey argued that the allegations levelled against the Congress leader was false. Modi’s lawyers, however, countered the arguments and appealed to the court not to grant bail and start the trial of the case.
“Whoever is raising his voice in the country against the Modi government, against the BJP-RSS, he is targeted through court cases. But my fight will continue,” Gandhi told reporters before leaving the court premises.
To a query, he said the voice of people of the country was being suppressed. “My struggle to protect the constitution and the rights of farmers and labourers would continue relentlessly,” he said.
This was the first visit of Gandhi to Patna after he declared his decision to step down as the Congress president after his party’s crushing defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. A large number of party leaders and workers, including AiCC in-charge Shaktisinh Gohil, BPCC president Madan Mohan Jha, former BPCC chief Anil Sharma received Gandhi at the airport.
Gandhi arrived here on a service flight and had a brief conversation with senior party leaders at the state hanger, before heading for the court. He returned to Delhi by another service flight.