The Jharkhand High Court has rejected Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's petition seeking to quash proceedings against him in a trial court in connection with a criminal complaint.

Naveen Jha, a BJP worker, had filed the case against Gandhi in 2019 for his alleged defamatory remarks against Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Justice Ambuj Nath of the high court dismissed Gandhi's plea on Wednesday but the order was uploaded on the high court website on Friday.

The senior Congress leader had contested the decision of a magisterial court in Ranchi, which instructed him to personally appear before the court to undergo trial. Later, Gandhi moved the high court, which issued a stay order on any further actions in the lower court against him.

The HC had also issued notices to complainant Jha to appear in the case.

During one of his public speeches in Chaibasa before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Gandhi had referred to Shah as a "murderer".

After recording the statements of the complainant and witnesses, magistrate Anamika Kisku had found merit in the case against Gandhi and directed him to appear before the trial court on February 4, 2023.

Later, the HC, while issuing a stay on the notice issued by the magistrate, ordered that "no coercive steps" be taken against Gandhi.

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