Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has been summoned by a court in Mumbai over a defamation case filed against him for calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi “commander-in-thief” while attacking him over the Rafale deal last year.
The Girgaum metropolitan magistrate has asked Rahul Gandhi to appear before the court on October 3.
The summons was issued over a complaint filed by a Maharashtra BJP executive member Mahesh Shrishrimal against Rahul Gandhi.
Without mentioning the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi had in September last year tweeted, “India’s commander-in-thief” — without naming Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The complainant said that Rahul Gandhi’s remarks are not only offensive towards the PM, but BJP workers as well.
Rahul Gandhi had focused much of his campaign for the Lok Sabha elections around the “Chowkidaar Chor Hai” slogan, accusing PM Modi of cancelling the previous UPA government’s agreement and signing off on an overpriced deal only to facilitate an offset contract for industrialist Anil Ambani’s inexperienced defence company.
India had inked an inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 for procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of around Rs 58,000 crore. The 36-jet Rafale deal has been at the heart of the opposition’s allegation against the government of crony capitalism.
However, in December last year, the Supreme Court had said that it has found nothing wrong with the agreement signed by PM Modi. It also said that there was no substantial evidence to suggest that any private entity was shown favouritism in the case.
Four public interest litigations seeking a court-monitored investigation into the Rafale deal were also dismissed by the Supreme Court.