Today Congress MP Rahul Gandhi was granted bail by an Ahmedabad court in a defamation case. The case was filed by the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank and its chairman Ajay Patel. The defamation suit was filed after the Congress president had alleged that the bank was involved in a scam of swapping ₹749.59 crore of scrapped ₹500 and ₹1000 banknotes during the demonetisation done by the previous Modi government. Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party had alleged that the Cooperative bank had exchanged more cash than other cooperative banks in the state because Amit Shah is one of the directors of the bank.
Appearing at the court today, Rahul Gandhi applied for bail in the criminal defamation case, which was granted by the court on a bond of ₹15,000. The court had issued summons to Rahul Gandhi and Randeep Singh Surjewala after finding prima facie evidence against them in the case under section 202 of CRPC.
Rahul Gandhi is facing numerous defamation cases across the country, and he has been summoned by various courts in those cases. As most of them are criminal defamation cases, he will have to take bail in them also while the courts hear the cases.
On 6th July last week, Rahul Gandhi was granted bail by a Patna court in another defamation case. This case was filed by BJP leader and Bihar Deputy for his comments saying “all Modis are thieves”.
Before that on July 4th, he was granted bail by a Mumbai court in a defamation case filed by an RSS worker. This case was filed for his remark linking Gauri Lankesh’s killing with the “BJP-RSS ideology”. The bail was granted on a surety amount of ₹15,000.
In November 2016, Bhiwandi court in Maharashtra had granted bail to Gandhi in another case filed by another RSS worker. The case was filed after Rahul Gandhi had said during an election rally that RSS had killed Mahatma Gandhi. Even the Supreme Court had slammed him for such ‘collective’ comment, and had ruled that he will have to face trial and prove his point in the court.
A Guwahati court also gave bail to Rahul Gandhi in yet another defamation case by RSS. The bail was granted on a bond of ₹50,000 in September 2016. The case was filed after Rahul Gandhi had lied that he was prevented by RSS from entering the Barpeta Satra in Assam in December 2015.
The most well-known case where the former Congress president is out on bail is the National Herald case. Rahul Gandhi along with his mother Sonia Gandhi was granted bail in December 2015 in the case pursued by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on a personal bond of ₹50,000.
Rahul Gandhi is facing another defamation case for his ‘All Modis are thieves’ comment in a Surat court. The court has summoned him to appear in the court on 16th July. It is likely that he will get another bail next when he appears in the court and pleads not guilty.
As Rahul Gandhi has pleaded not guilty in all the cases against him, he will have to face trial in all of them. And as the condition of the bail in most of the cases is that he will have personally appear in the court, he will have to attend lots of court hearings in the coming days when the courts take up the cases for trial.
It may be noted that in 2015, Rahul Gandhi, Subramanian Swamy and Arvind Kejriwal had filed separate petitions in the Supreme Court against the validity of criminal defamation law. But the Supreme Court had rejected those petitions in 2016.