Remark on PM Modi: Bombay HC defers defamation proceedings against Rahul Gandhi till Sept 26

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday deferred till September 26 the proceedings before a magistrate court in a defamation case lodged against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over his “commander-in-thief” remark about Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The complainant, BJP supporter Mahesh Shrishrimal, alleged that the remark made in 2018 over the Rafale fighter jet deal had “hurt the sentiments of the PM’s supporters”.

A single-judge bench of Justice S V Kotwal extended the relief to Gandhi while hearing his plea seeking the quashing of the case. The court had earlier too deferred the proceedings from time to time and granted relief to him from personal appearance before the magistrate.

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A Mumbai magistrate court issued a summons to Gandhi in October 2019. The former Congress president, however, has not appeared before the magistrate till date.

In 2021, Gandhi’s lawyer Kushal Mor filed the petition in the high court to quash the defamation case, arguing that the complainant was not the aggrieved party as the remark was about the prime minister.

Justice Kotwal said the matter was adjourned to September 26 with the consent of the parties.