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Bombay High Court Seeks Advocate General’s Assistance in Rahul Gandhi’s Defamation Case

The Bombay High Court has sought the assistance of Maharashtra’s Advocate General, Birendra Saraf, in a defamation case filed by Rahul Gandhi, a Congress leader and Member of Parliament. Rahul Gandhi is seeking the quashing of a defamation complaint initiated against him in 2019.


The criminal proceedings against Rahul Gandhi were initiated in August 2019 by the Metropolitan Magistrate Court at Girgaon based on a defamation complaint filed by Mahesh Hukumchand Shrishrimal, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Gandhi subsequently moved the Bombay High Court to have the case dismissed.

Crucial Legal Questions

During the recent hearing, Justice SV Kotwal, a single judge, identified significant legal questions raised in Gandhi’s petition that required the expertise of the Advocate General. The judge stated that the case involved important legal matters and requested the Advocate General to address the court on all the legal issues at hand.

Allegations and Arguments

The complaint against Rahul Gandhi alleged that during a rally in Rajasthan in September 2018, he made defamatory statements against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As a result of these statements, Modi was purportedly targeted on various media platforms and social media channels.

Gandhi’s lawyers argued that the complaint was frivolous and politically motivated. They also invoked Section 199(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, contending that there was a legal bar on the complainant from filing the complaint. Additionally, they pointed out that a political party is not recognized as an eligible entity to file a defamation plea under Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code.

The complainant’s lawyer argued that the complaint was filed by an aggrieved party, a member of the BJP Maharashtra Pradesh Committee, and therefore, had merit.


The Bombay High Court’s decision to involve the Advocate General signifies the complexity and importance of the legal issues raised in Rahul Gandhi’s petition to quash the defamation case against him. The case continues to unfold, with legal arguments and considerations playing a pivotal role in its outcome.


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