South Asia

Indian court sentences Rahul Gandhi to two years in jail for Modi comment

A court in India found opposition leader Rahul Gandhi guilty of defamation on Thursday (March 23) for a speech he made in 2019 in which he referred to thieves as having the surname Modi, and sentenced him to two years in prison.

Gandhi, a senior leader of the Congress party and the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty will appeal against the order in a higher court, his party said. A court passed the judgment in Surat city, located in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat.

Gandhi was present at the Surat court, which gave him bail immediately and suspended the sentence for a month.

In the speech before the last general election in 2019, Gandhi referred to the prime minister and two fugitive Indian businessmen, all with the Modi surname, while talking about alleged high-level corruption in the country.

On Thursday, Gandhi told the court that his comment was not against any community. The BJP said no one was above the law.