Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday refused to apologise in the Modi surname case and reiterated his innocence before the Supreme Court. He maintained that he has always asserted his innocence and believes that the conviction is baseless and unsustainable. He also mentioned that if he had to apologise and acknowledge any offense, he would have done so much earlier.
No Modi samaj or community established on record: Gandhi argues
In his affidavit, Gandhi argued that there were attempts to coerce him into apologising. He expressed to the apex court that employing the criminal process and the consequences under the Representation of Peoples Act to force an apology was a ‘gross abuse of the judicial process’.
Gandhi emphasised that there is no community or group officially recognised as 'Modi,' thus asserting that the act of defaming the Modi community as a whole does not apply. He highlighted that individuals with the surname Modi might belong to various communities or castes.
"There is no Modi samaj or community established on record and there are only Modi Vanika Samaj or Modh Ghanchi Samaj existing ... [Complainant] has also admitted that the Modi surname falls under various other castes. There is also the admission that Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi and Mehul Choksi all do not fall within the same caste," Gandhi said in an affidavit.
Complainant BJP MLA calls Gandhi 'arrogant'
In March of this year, the Congress leader was convicted following a complaint filed by Gujarat BJP MLA Purnesh Ishwarbhai Modi. Modi referred to Gandhi as 'arrogant' in a reply submitted to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, provoking a strong response from the ousted MP.
“At the time of sentencing before the Trial Court, the Petitioner far from being repentant or contrite, displayed arrogance. He said he did not seek any mercy from the Court and would not apologise for any harm to the reputation of the persons he had defamed. Subsequent to the order of conviction and sentence, in a press conference, the Petitioner said that he would never apologise in this case as he was not a Savarkar, but a Gandhi," Purnesh Modi's affidavit in the SC stated.