The Supreme Court agreed to hear on July 21 the appeal filed by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi challenging the Gujarat High Court's refusal to stay the conviction and two-year jail term imposed on him by a Magistrate court in a criminal defamation case [Rahul Gandhi vs Purnesh Ishwarbhai Modi]..The matter was mentioned on Tuesday by Gandhi's counsel, Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi before a bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud seeking urgent listing."Seeking a Friday or Monday date," Singhvi said."List this Friday," CJI Chandrachud directed..Gandhi moved the instant appeal challenging the Gujarat High Court's refusal to stay the conviction for his remark "All thieves have Modi surname".Single-judge Justice Hemant Prachchhak had refused relief to Gandhi on July 7, stating that staying conviction is not a rule and the same must only be exercised in rare cases.The now disqualified parliamentarian from Wayanad, Kerala was convicted by a Magistrate court in Surat on March 23 for his remark that he had made at an election rally in Karnataka's Kolar constituency, in 2019.Gandhi had, in his speech linked Prime Minister Narendra Modi with fugitives like Nirav Modi and Lalit Modi.He had said,"Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi. How come all the thieves have 'Modi' as a common surname?"Purnesh Modi, a former BJP Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA), took exception to the said speech claiming that Gandhi humiliated and defamed persons with the Modi surname.The magistrate court in Surat accepted the contention of Modi that by his speech, Gandhi has intentionally insulted the people with a 'Modi' surname.In his 168-page judgment, Judge Hadirash Varma said that since Gandhi is a Member of Parliament (MP), whatever he says will have a greater impact. Thus, he should have exercised restraint, the Magistrate ruled.A sessions court in Surat had, on April 20, dismissed Gandhi's plea seeking suspension of his conviction by the Magistrate court.Gandhi then moved the High Court, which too refused to extend relief to him leading to the present appeal before the top court.In his plea before the apex court, Gandhi has contended that the High Court "order has no parallel or precedent in the jurisprudence of the law of defamation in India".As per the plea, an undefined amorphous group which, according to the complainant consists of 13 crore people, has been held to be defamed.Gandhi has further contended that the entire approach of the High Court judgement has been to mischaracterize the one-line statement of the petitioner as 'very serious'.