New Delhi: Congress leader and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi will on Thursday appear before a magisterial court in Surat in connection with a defamation case filed against him for saying ‘why all thieves share the Modi surname’ during his election campaign for Lok Sabha this year.

Rahul was in July issued a summon by Chief Judicial Magistrate BH Kapadia after a complaint was filed against him by local BJP MLA Purnesh Modi under IPC sections 499 and 500, which deal with criminal defamation.

In July when the last hearing was taking place, the court had exempted him from personal appearance and had slated October 10 to hear the case.

In his complaint which was filed in May, the BJP MLA had alleged that Rahul had defamed PM Modi with his remark ‘why all thieves have Modi as surname’.

During the last hearing, the court had stated that there was a prima facie case of criminal defamation against the Lok Sabha MP from Wayanad.

During the election campaign for Lok Sabha, Rahul in Karnataka had on April 13 said, “Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi, how come they all have Modi as common surname? How come all thieves have Modi as common surname?”

Apart from today, the Gandhi scion will also appear before a Court in Ahmadabad on October 11 in connection with another defamation case filed against him by Ahmadabad District Cooperative Bank. Chairman of the bank Ajay Patel had filed the complaint after Rahul accused him of being involved in a scam to swap demonetised notes worth Rs750 crore. Rahul, in this case, was granted bail in July this year.

Rahul, apart from this, is also facing another defamation cases in Ahmedabad for calling Union Home Minister Amit Shah a ‘murder accused’.