Rahul Gandhi was today summoned to appear before an Ahmedabad court on August 9, in connection with a defamation case filed by a BJP member who alleged the Congress leader made derogatory statements against Amit Shah in April. Mr Gandhi had been scheduled to appear today but skipped court and his lawyers asked for an exemption instead.
Additional chief metropolitan magistrate DS Dabhi re-issued the summons after the one issued on May 1, which was to be served through Lok Sabha Speaker as Mr Gandhi is a Member of Parliament, was returned, news agency PTI reported.
The Speaker returned the summons saying he has no locus standi in the matter, the complainant's lawyer Prakash Patel said.
The fresh summons asking Mr Gandhi to appear on August 9 will now be served directly to the Congress leader at his residence in New Delhi, the agency reported.
Rahul Gandhi, on April 23, attacked Amit Shah citing an old murder case in which the BJP leader was discharged five years ago. He also levelled corruption allegations against Mr Shah's son, Jay Shah.
"Murder accused BJP President Amit Shah....waah! kya shaan hai (Wow, what majesty)... Have you heard Jay Shah's name? He is a magician, he made Rs. 50,000 into Rs. 80 crore in 3 months," Mr Gandhi had said.
Amit Shah had been named in a case involving the alleged fake encounter of a gangster, Sohrabuddin Sheikh, which took place in 2005. However, in 2014, a court had ruled there was not enough evidence against him to merit a trial. Last year, the Bombay High Court dismissed a petition against the CBI's decision to not challenge the trial court's order.
Rahul Gandhi, 49, had last week been granted bail by a Patna court in connection with a defamation case filed by Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi for allegedly saying "all thieves have the surname Modi", at an election rally in Maharashtra.
"I have a question. Why do all the thieves have Modi in their names? Be it Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi or Narendra Modi? We don't know how many more such Modis will come out," he said.
After getting bail Mr Gandhi took time off from his schedule to visit a restaurant in the city's Maurya Lok Place that served South Indian food.
Mr Gandhi is also due to appear in a Surat court in a related defamation case filed by Gujarat lawmaker Purnesh Modi.
Rahul Gandhi also appeared in a Mumbai court last week, where he pleaded not guilty in a defamation case filed by an RSS worker over comments allegedly linking journalist Gauri Lankesh's killing with "BJP-RSS ideology". He was granted bail on surety of Rs.15,000.
The trial date has been set for September 22 and Rahul Gandhi has been granted exemption from subsequent appearances.
Mr Gandhi's next court appearance is also in Ahmedabad - on July 12 - in connection with a defamation case filed by the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank (ADCB).
Mr Gandhi and Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala had alleged the bank was involved in a scam to convert scrapped notes worth Rs 745.59 crores five days after the demonetization announcement on November 8, 2016.
With inputs from ANI, PTI
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