Ahmedabad: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday pleaded not guilty in a criminal defamation suit filed against him for calling Union Home Minister Amit Shah a "murder accused". The court of additional chief metropolitan magistrate RB Etaliya also granted him bail on a bond of Rs 10,000.
Gandhi's lawyer moved an application for personal exemption of his client in the case after his not guilty plea was recorded by the court. The court fixed the next hearing on December 7, when it will also take up his personal exemption application.
After securing bail, Gandhi in a tweet described the case as a "politically motivated" one. He appeared in the Ahmedabad court a day after marking his presence before a magisterial court in Surat, where he pleaded not guilty in a criminal defamation case filed against him for his "why do all thieves share the Modi surname" remarks.
A video posted with Gandhi's tweet showed him eating at a restaurant with Congress workers — Gujarat party leader Hardik Patel was also present. "It was good to connect with members of my Congress family here in the city and to have a meal with them at a local restaurant. I thank them all," he said.
Yesterday it was Surat, today it’s Ahmedabad - to attend a hearing in yet another politically motivated case filed against me.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 11, 2019
It was good to connect with members of my Congress family here in the city and to have a meal with them at a local restaurant. I thank them all 🙏 pic.twitter.com/A0sgcjYVEF
The criminal defamation suit was filed against Gandhi for calling Shah a "murder accused" at an election rally in Jabalpur six months ago. In May, the metropolitan magistrate had issued summons seeking his appearance in the suit filed by BJP corporator Krishnavadan Brahmbhatt.
Gandhi's jibe was slanderous as Shah was acquitted in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh fake encounter case in 2015, the complainant said.