A court in Surat on Thursday issued summons to Rahul Gandhi in response to a criminal defamation suit filed by a Gujarat MLA over the Congress president’s “how come all thieves have Modi as common surname” remark.Also Read - Fire At Mumbai High-Rise: Rescue Operation Underway, PM Modi Announces Compensation | Key Points

Chief Judicial Magistrate of Surat, BH Kapadia, issued summons to Gandhi, directing him to be present before the court on June 7. Also Read - 'Aapko Koi Aur Chehra Dikh Raha Hai...', Priyanka Gandhi on Being Congress' CM Face in Uttar Pradesh | WATCH

The complaint against Gandhi was filed by BJP legislator Purnesh Modi, on April 16 under IPC sections 499 and 500 that deal with defamation. Also Read - Congress Releases Manifesto For UP Polls, Promises 20 Lakh Jobs to Youths, Filing up Vacant Teacher Posts | Key Points

In his complaint, the MLA from Surat-West seat claimed the Congress president was defaming the entire Modi community by saying all “Modis are thieves”.

He was referring to an election rally at Kolar in Karnataka on April 13, where Gandhi asked, “Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi…how come they all have Modi as common surname. How come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?”

While talking to reporters after filing his defamation suit last month, Purnesh Modi had claimed that Gandhi’s remark has defamed the entire Modi community.

“There are a large number of people with Modi surname. Does it mean all members of the Modi community are thieves? He has defamed the community and also me as I carry the surname. This is why we have moved a complaint (against Gandhi) in a Surat court under IPC sections 499 and 500,” the MLA had said.

A court in Ahmedabad had Wednesday issued summons to Gandhi in response to a criminal defamation suit filed by a BJP worker for calling BJP chief Amit Shah a “murder accused”.