Congress party has dubbed the conviction of former party president Rahul Gandhi by a Surat court in a defamation case as an “infirm, erroneous and unsustainable judgement” that will be immediately challenged in a higher court and expressed hope that it will be stayed and quashed soon.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said the Gujarat trial court has given a 170-page judgement which is still subject to translation and the party is working towards filing an appeal against it in a higher court.
“We believe that this is full of errors and legally unsustainable conclusion. But make no mistake generally…all your (government’s) efforts to create a chilling effect, a throttling effect, strangulating effect on open, fearless speech relating to public interest will not stop either Rahul Gandhi or the Congress party,” he told reporters at a press conference here.
Singhvi said the Congress has faith in the judiciary and will seek legal recourse to the Surat court verdict and get relief, while noting that even though this judgement is “erroneous”, in-built corrective measures exist within the judicial system and “we will certainly invoke them”.
Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi returned from Surat to the national capital and was accorded a reception at the domestic airport in Delhi on his arrival. Some Congress MPs and leaders who were present at the Delhi airport to welcome him, later held a meeting with their leader at his Tughlaq Road residence, sources said.
Singhvi said this government is clearly relying, if in Parliament one set of techniques to throttle voices, and if outside Parliament a second set of tactics which in recent times has had an effect inside Parliament too. The third strategy of the government is to “file false, frivolous and vexatious” cases to throttle voices, he said.
“No doubt there is a conviction, but this is an infirm, an erroneous and an unsustainable judgement. It will be challenged and we are hopeful it will be stayed and ultimately quashed,” the Congress leader said.
He said he has no doubts that when it comes to Rahul Gandhi, this government will do everything which is “unethical and is devoid of principles”.