A Bengaluru court on Saturday summoned Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on June 7 “without fail” in a defamation case filed by the Bharatiya Janata Party in connection with his allegations that the previous Karnataka government took bribes from contractors, Bar and Bench reported.

The 42nd Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate exempted Gandhi from appearing on Saturday. This was after his counsel submitted that Gandhi would not be able to appear before it because of his participation in the Opposition INDIA bloc meeting in Delhi.

The court, however, granted bail to Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy Chief Minister Shivakumar against a bail bond of Rs 5,000 each in the same case after they appeared before the judge.

The case pertains to a complaint filed by BJP leader Keshav Prasad against Gandhi, Siddaramaiah and Shivakumar over campaign advertisements and slogans of the Congress during the 2023 Karnataka Assembly election.

The complaint objected to the Congress’ allegations that the BJP government in the state at the time was charging a 40% commission or bribes from contractors for undertaking public works, Bar and Bench reported.

It was also alleged that the Congress was spreading false advertisements against members of the Hindutva party, including Basavaraj Bommai, who was Karnataka’s chief minister at the time.

On May 30, in a separate case, a Pune court directed Rahul Gandhi to appear before it on August 19 for his alleged remarks about Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in a 2023 speech made in London.

In April 2023, Satyaki Savarkar, the Hindutva ideologue’s grand-nephew, filed a defamation complaint against Gandhi, accusing him of making fictitious, false and malicious remarks.

The court direction came three days after Pune police submitted the enquiry report claiming that Gandhi defamed Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in the 2023 speech.