US says it’s watching Rahul Gandhi’s case

Washington, March 28 (KMS): A top US official has said that his country is watching Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s case in Indian courts, adding that the US engages with the Indian government on a shared commitment to democratic values, including freedom of expression.

“Respect for the rule of law and judicial independence is a cornerstone of any democracy, and we’re watching Mr Gandhi’s (Rahul Gandhi) case in Indian courts,” the US State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said in a press briefing while responding to a question regarding Rahul Gandhi’s expulsion from the Indian Parliament.

“The US engages with the government of India on our shared commitment to democratic values, including of course freedom of expression in our engagements with our Indian partners,” he added.

“We continue to highlight the importance of democratic principles and the protection of human rights including freedom of expression as a key to strengthening both our democracies,” Vedant Patel said.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was disqualified last Friday as a Member of Lok Sabha (MP) from the date of his conviction in the criminal defamation case over his ‘Modi surname’ remark. Rahul Gandhi was a Member of the Indian Parliament from the seat of Wayanad in Kerala state.

A court in the Surat city of the Indian state of Gujarat on Thursday sentenced Rahul Gandhi to two years imprisonment in a defamation case. Rahul Gandhi made the “how come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname” remark in April 2019, at a Lok Sabha election rally in Kolar city of Karnataka state. The criminal defamation case against Rahul Gandhi was filed by BJP MLA from Surat West Purnesh Modi.

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