Senior counsel and recently-appointed Additional Solicitor General (ASG) of India for Supreme Court, Suryaprakash V Raju, has applied before the Law Ministry for permission to appear for an Ahmedabad BJP corporator in his personal capacity against Congress MP Rahul Gandhi in a criminal defamation suit where Rahul had called Union Home Minister Amit Shah as a “murder accused” in 2019.
A decision on Raju’s application by the ministry is expected in the next week or so, said an advocate associated with the matter. MP from Wayanad, Rahul, is facing trial before an Ahmedabad magistrate court over a criminal defamation suit slapped by BJP member and Khadia ward corporator Krishnavadan Brahmbhatt in May 2019. Senior advocate Raju was representing Brahmbhatt so far in the proceedings.
As the decision of the ministry is pending, the matter has now been adjourned to October 17. Owing to Supreme Court directions and a subsequent communication from Gujarat High Court on September 30, trial courts have been asked to speed up proceedings against sitting and former MPs and MLAs and conduct such cases on a day-to-day basis.
Brahmbhatt had accused Rahul of making defamatory statements against the then BJP president Amit Shah by calling him a “murder accused”, in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
As per Brahmbhatt’s criminal defamation suit, Rahul had made defamatory statements against Shah in a speech in Jabalpur on April 23 wherein the then Congress president had allegedly said, “Murder accused, BJP chief Amit Shah, wah, kya shaan hai.”
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