Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will appear before a metropolitan magistrate’s court in Ahmedabad on Friday for the hearing of a criminal defamation suit filed against him by Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank and its chairman Ajay Patel. Gandhi would appear before the court, said Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi.
“Since the summons was also issued to party’s national spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, he is also expected to appear tomorrow,” said Doshi.
The defamation suit was filed last year after Gandhi and Surjewala claimed that the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank was involved in a “scam” to swap Rs 745.59 crore in swapped notes with valid currency within five days of demonetisation announcement on November 8, 2016.
Union home minister Amit Shah is one of the directors of the ADC Bank. The court issued summonses to the two leaders on April 9 after finding prima facie evidence against them. The complainants said that the Congress leaders leveled “false and defamatory allegations” against the bank.
The court had conducted an inquiry under section 202 of the Code of Criminal Procedure before summoning Gandhi and Surjewala. The section deals with inquiry to decide whether there is sufficient ground for proceeding against a person.
Gandhi and Surjewala’s allegations were based on the reply given by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development to an RTI query of a Mumbai-based activist. ADCB and Patel have denied that the bank exchanged such a huge amount of swapped currency as alleged.