Robust political discourse is the essence of democracy and the law ought not to be set in motion to silence leading voices of the Opposition, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said on Friday, a day after Rahul Gandhi was sentenced by a Surat court in a 2019 criminal defamation case.
The court in Surat sentenced Gandhi to two years jail in the case filed against him over his "Modi surname" remarks.
The court also granted him bail and suspended the sentence for 30 days to allow him to appeal in a higher court.
In a tweet without naming anyone, Chidambaram said, "Robust political discourse is the essence of democracy. The law ought not to be set in motion to silence leading voices of the democratic Opposition."
"Noisy appreciation of the 'might' of the law must be tempered by calm introspection on the 'plight' of democratic voices," he said.
The Congress has said that the conviction of Gandhi was "erroneous and unsustainable" and will be challenged in a higher court. It has expressed hope that the judgment will be stayed and quashed.
(With PTI inputs)