Defamation dilemma.

Indian National Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was on the receiving end of a guilty verdict in a defamation trial that has exposed how weaponised the Indian court system has become during Narendra Modi's premiership. It should be unsurprising that the judgement came in Gujarat, where Modi's rise to power began. Gandhi's controversial comment was, 'Why do all these thieves have Modi as their surname? Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi.' Nirav Modi is a diamond tycoon who fled the country after being accused of a multibillion-dollar bank fraud, while Lalit Modi is a billionaire businessman who founded and ran the Indian Premier League before fleeing the country to avoid corruption and embezzlement charges. Neither is related to the prime minister, but both have been accused of paying off BJP leaders before and after they absconded.

Gandhi was accused of defaming 'the entire Modi community' by BJP leader and former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi. Indian legal experts said the case is interesting because, among other things, surnames are not a protected class, and there is no such thing as a...

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