Gujarat High Court judge Justice Gita Gopi on Wednesday recused herself from hearing Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s plea seeking a stay on his conviction in the defamation case over his “Modi surname” remark, reported Live Law.
The 52-year-old leader’s criminal revision petition was moved on Tuesday before the High Court challenging the Surat Sessions Court April 20 order which dismissed his application seeking a stay on his conviction.
No reason was given for the recusal.
Later, Senior advocate Pankaj Champaneri, representing Gandhi, mentioned the matter again before the Acting Chief Justice AJ Desai requesting that the matter be placed for hearing before any court as it deems fit on April 29, reported The Indian Express.
ACJ Desai will take a call on the administrative side of the court that the matter will be listed before and on which date.
Gandhi’s speech during an election rally in Kolar, Karnataka, where he remarked “How come all thieves have Modi surname” landed him into trouble, with BJP leader Purnesh Modi registering a complaint against him over the remarks.
On March 23 this year, the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate sentenced the Congress leader to two years imprisonment. His sentence was however suspended and was also granted bail to enable him to move an appeal against his conviction within 30 days.
Gandhi was also disqualified as an MP from the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat in Kerala following his disqualification.
Gandhi had moved the Surat Sessions Court on April 3 challenging the conviction. On April 20, although Gandhi was granted bail, his application for a stay on his conviction was rejected.