Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who on Friday appeared for a hearing in a criminal defamation suit filed against him in Ahmedabad, was granted bail by the magisterial court.
Gandhi pleaded “not guilty” to the charges of defamation in the case that had been filed against him by Ahmedabad District Co-Operative (ADC) Bank and its chairman Ajay Patel for allegedly defaming BJP president Amit Shah, who is a director in ADC bank, with accusations of money laundering during the 2016 demonetisation. The matter has been posted to September 7 for further hearing.
In a tweet dated June 22, 2018, Gandhi said, “Congratulations Amit Shah ji, Director of Ahmedabad District Co-operative Bank, on your bank winning first prize in the conversion of old notes to new race. Rs 750 crore in five days! Millions of Indians whose lives were destroyed by demonetisation salute your achievement! #ShahZyadaKhaGaya”
Along with the tweet was a picture of Shah captioned, “THE DIRECTOR of the bank that collected the highest number of demonetised notes. The PRESIDENT of the party that got 80% richer after demonetisation.”
Appearing before the court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate NB Munshi at Gheekanta in old Ahmedabad, Gandhi was asked if he knew what the charges against him were, to which he confirmed he did and pleaded not guilty. When asked, “Do you want to defend yourself?,” he replied “Yes.”
Asked if he had received the relevant case papers, Gandhi affirmed he had. He, however, pointed out a spelling mistake in the word ‘Tughlak’ in his address, following which the court rectified it.
Subsequently, arguments ensued regarding the appropriate provisions of law that would be applicable for Gandhi’s bail.