By: Radhakrishna NS
INDIAN National Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday pleaded ‘not guilty’ and was granted bail in a criminal defamation case filed against him here for calling Union Home Minister Amit Shah a “murder accused”.
Gandhi also appeared before a second court here where he is facing another defamation case, for claiming that Ahmedabad District Cooperative (ADC) Bank was involved in a currency swapping scam post-demonetisation.
Shah is one of the directors of the bank.
Additional chief metropolitan magistrate R B Etaliya, hearing the defamation suit filed by BJP corporator Krishnavadan Brahmbhatt against Gandhi for calling Shah a murder accused, granted the Congress leader bail on a bond of Rs 10,000.
Gandhi pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charge in the suit.
His lawyer sought exemption for Gandhi from personal appearance. The court said it will hear the plea on December 7.
At a campaign rally in Jabalpur before Lok Sabha polls, Gandhi had said, “Murder accused BJP chief Amit Shah. Wah, kya shaan hai (how glorious).”
Gandhi’s jibe was slanderous as Shah was acquitted in the Sohrabuddin Shaikh fake encounter case in 2015, the complainant said in the defamation suit.
After Gandhi appeared before additional chief judicial magistrate N B Munshi in the ADC Bank defamation suit, his lawyer sought personal exemption from appearance in this case too. The court said it will hear the plea on December 7.
Gandhi had appeared before the court in this case, filed by the bank and its chairman Ajay Patel, in July and pleaded not guilty.
The case relates to Gandhi’s allegation that the bank was involved in a scam of swapping demonetised notes worth Rs 7.50 billion with valid currency within five days of demonetisation in 2016.
On Thursday, the Wayanad MP appeared before a court in Surat in a defamation case related to his remark “why do all thieves share the Modi surname”, made during the Lok Sabha campaign. He pleaded not guilty.