Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday appeared before a magisterial court and pleaded not guilty in a criminal defamation case filed against him for his "why do all thieves share the Modi surname" remarks. Rahul Gandhi appeared before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate B H Kapadia here and pleaded not guilty when asked by the court whether he accept the charges, levelled against him by BJP legislator from Surat-West, Purnesh Modi.|
After Rahul Gandhi's plea was recorded, his lawyers moved an application seeking a permanent exemption from personal appearance in the next hearings. After Modi's lawyers raised objection to the exemption plea, the court said it will decide on the plea on December 10. The court said Rahul Gandhi is not required to remain present during the next hearing on that date.