Rahul Gandhi appears before Bengaluru court, granted bail in defamation case filed by BJP

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday was granted bail by a special court here in connection with a case filed by the BJP's Karnataka unit for issuing "defamatory" advertisements in mainstream newspapers.
Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi

Bengaluru | Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday was granted bail by a special court here in connection with a case filed by the BJP's Karnataka unit for issuing "defamatory" advertisements in mainstream newspapers.

The advertisement ahead of the Assembly polls last year accused the then BJP government in the state of indulging in large-scale corruption during its 2019-2023 rule.

The court had on June one granted bail to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar, who is also the State Congress chief, after they appeared before it in connection with the defamation case.

Judge K N Shivakumar had directed Gandhi to appear before the court on June seven without fail.

Gandhi apologised to the court on Friday for seeking exemption from personal appearance in the last two hearings. The court accepted his apology and granted him bail on a surety of Rs 75 lakh.

Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar were also present in the court along with Gandhi.

The BJP had in its complaint filed in June 2023 alleged that false and reckless allegations were made in the advertisements issued by the accused persons on May 5, 2023 in all the mainstream newspapers in Karnataka during campaigning for the Assembly polls, under the title "Corruption rate card", and "40 per cent Commission Sarkara (government)".

It was alleged in the complaint that the advertisements were issued by the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee through Shivakumar, in his capacity as its president and by Siddaramaiah, as the then Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly.

Gandhi had put up a post of this "defamatory advertisement" on his social media 'X' account, it pointed out.

In a post on 'X' after Gandhi personally appeared before the court, the BJP said: “Accused out on bail in the National Herald case, Mr. @RahulGandhi, you are welcome to Namma Bengaluru. We also invite you to experience the consequences of Indian laws for all the misleading and defamatory advertisements you used against our leaders here in Karnataka, which you have failed to prove till today.

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