New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the Gujarat High Court Order, which had upheld the conviction of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for defamation over his “Modi surname” remark in 2019.
The judgement is stayed until the larger appeal is heard on merit, a bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice B R Gavai said in its order.
The apex court passed the order after noting that there were no reasons given by the trial judge for giving the maximum punishment of two years.
The SC also said that the disqualification affects not only Gandhi but also the electorate of his constituency.
However, the top court also cautioned Gandhi that he should have been more careful in making the alleged remarks.
The SC noted in its order that it has heard the counsel at length and that the arguments are entering into the merits of the matter.
“Proceedings are pending before the specific court, we therefore refuse to comment on the merits so as not to influence proceedings. On the stay of sentence, we have considered certain aspects of the case.
“There is no doubt that the utterances by the petitioner are not in good taste,” Justice Gavai noted in his order.
However, the SC noted that the trial judge has given the maximum punishment of two years without sufficient reasons and grounds.
“Order of the conviction is stayed,” Justice Gavai said.