Gujarat High Court: Add four witnesses in a Defamation Case against Rahul Gandhi

Shivani Pandey-

Published on: August 18, 2021 12:51 IST

The Gujarat High Court dismissed a Surat Magistrate Court Order that rejected an application by Bhartiya Janta Party MLA Purnesh Modi who requested to add four witnesses for examination in the Trial Case of Criminal Defamation filed by him against Congress MP from Wayanad Rahul Gandhi.

Gujarat High Court has now registered the application back on the trial Court for a de novo decision.

The Complainant MLA alleged that Rahul Gandhi defamed the Modi Community while he compared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to economic offenders Lalit Modi and Nirav Modi and allegedly stated in a Public meeting at Kollar in Karnataka on April 13, 2019, “Why all chors (thieves) have the surname, Modi”?

The Complainant had produced electronic records of Rahul’s speech in the form of three CDs and a pen drive, containing the alleged defamatory statements.

To prove that the contents of the alleged remarks contained in the devices are true, the trial court issued summons to two witnesses, as called for by the complainant.

However, through the two witnesses, the complainant could not prove the authenticity and source of the electronic record and thus another application was filed by him before the Magistrate Court to add four more witnesses to prove the contents of the electronic record as per the Evidence Act.

The Court of Justice Ilesh Vora, while disposing of the Plea, stated in its order, “The dismissal of the application by the Court below is not in consonance with the object and scope, as prescribed under Section 311 of the Cr.P.C and dictum of law settled by the Apex Court. Hence, the impugned order dated 05.01.2021 passed by learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Surat, is hereby quashed.

It was made clear that, “the High Court did not consider the contentions raised by the respective parties on merits.”

Also Read- Modi Surname Defamation Case: Rahul Gandhi appears before Surat Court over his remark

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