Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi obtained bail in the defamation case filed against him by Ahmedabad District Co-operative Bank (ADCB) for his comments accusing the bank of fraudulent activity post-demonetisation. The Chairman of the bank is Ajay Patel, while the Union Home Minister Amit Shah is one of its directors.
The complaint was filed against the statement passed by the Congress spokesperson Randeep Surejwala during a press briefing on June 22. Surejwala had alleged that the bank had swapped scrapped currency notes worth Rs 745 crore with valid notes within 5 days of the announcement of demonetisation,thus alluding to a financial scam.
A case was filed against Rahul Gandhi for his tweet seconding Surejwala’s claim. Action was initiated against Gandhi and Surejwala for defamation under Section 500 of the Indian Penal code.
As per Section 202 of CPC, an inquiry was made to ascertain if there was sufficient grounds to initiate the proceedings, after fulfilment of which, the court summoned him for a hearing on April 9th. Gandhi pleaded that he was not guilty, that his claim was premised upon the response given by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development to an RTI enquiry, although the accusations were repudiated by ADCB.
He was granted bail by Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate NB Munshi. The bail bond amounted to Rs 15000, and the bail guarantor is Amit Chawda, Gujarat Congress President.
There have been several defamation cases filed against Gandhi. The Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Sushil Kumar Modi, had filed a defamation suit against him for his barb at the election rally at Kolar, insinuating that “all thieves had the surname Modi”. He also faced trial for 2 defamation cases in Maharashtra filed by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh members, one for allegedly linking the group with Mahatma Gandhi’s assasination, and the other for associating the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh with the ideology of RSS.