New Delhi: A Mumbai court on Friday asked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to appear before the court on September 3 in connection with a criminal defamation case.

The Girgaon Metropolitan Magistrate has issued the summon to Gandhi, holding that prima facie there was a case of criminal defamation against him under section 500 of the Indian Penal Code.

The summon has been issued against the Congress leader in connection with a criminal defamation complaint filed by a Maharashtra BJP executive member Mahesh Srimal alleging that Gandhi scion has used derogatory terms against the Prime Minister.

Srimal contended that Gandhi referred to Modi as a thief during a rally in Jaipur on August 20 last year which was broadcasted on television.

The BJP worker in the complaint stated that Gandhi at a rally said: “I do not want to be the PM of the country, I want to be the country’s watchman. And today a new voice is rising in the country. There is noise in the street, India’s watchman is a thief.”

The complainant claimed that Gandhi’s remarks were defamatory not only to the Prime Ministers but to the BJP workers as well.