Final decision in the defamation case would not provide relief for Rahul Gandhi, according to the Gujarat High Court.
The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday refused to grant Congress leader Rahul Gandhi temporary protection, saying that it will rule on his request for a stay of execution in a 2019 defamation case only after the summer break is over in the first week of June.
A Surat court sentenced Gandhi to two years in prison in March for criminal defamation following a complaint from BJP MLA Purnesh Modi, who took issue with Gandhi's comments about thieves bearing the Modi surname.
Judge Hemant Prachchhak stated that the decision wouldn't be made until after the summer break. From May 8 to June 4, the High Court will be closed for its annual summer break; only urgent cases will be heard by vacation benches during this time.
Judge Prachchhak won't be available starting on May 4 because he's going abroad.
He requested the defamation trial documents from the Surat magistrate court on Tuesday so he could review them.
After the judge stated the anticipated timeline for the verdict, Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Gandhi's attorney, requested preliminary relief in the form of a stay on the conviction during the time before the final pronouncement of the verdict.
But Justice Prachchhak refused to grant any temporary stay, saying that he would be making the case's final decisions.
According to one of the opposing solicitors, Gandhi might have to Parliament and asked to be reinstated to the Lok Sabha for the interim term if there had been a temporary stay on the conviction. Due to his sentence's stay and bail, Gandhi is still shielded from arrest.
In its order, the High Court stated that "because the court has finally heard the matter, the interim protection cannot be granted at this time in the interest of justice." Consequently, the request for temporary protection is denied.
In the meantime, complainant Purnesh Modi argued on Tuesday in opposition to Gandhi's request for a stay of execution that the offence of defamation will be regarded as serious because Parliament, in enacting Section 8 (3) of the Representation of the People Act, had deemed convictions with sentences of two years or longer as serious and thus provided for disqualification.