Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi reacts during a media briefing at the party headquarters in New Delhi, on June 6, 2024. Image Credit: REUTERS

Bengaluru: An Indian court Friday granted bail to opposition leader Rahul Gandhi in the latest of several defamation cases brought against him for accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi or his party of corruption.

Gandhi, 53, has faced numerous legal cases brought by members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and was last year briefly disqualified from parliament after a criminal libel conviction.

He is one of several top opposition leaders to face criminal proceedings in cases they claim are politically driven by Modi's government.

The latest case stems from advertisements published by Gandhi's Congress party accusing the BJP of corruptly taking commissions from infrastructure projects in southern Karnataka state.

Gandhi, 53, has not spent any time in custody over the charge.

He was granted bail in a five-minute procedural hearing held to determine if he should remain at liberty, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala confirmed to AFP.

Two other senior Congress figures in Karnataka state had already been bailed last week, neither of whom were in custody beforehand.

Gandhi was sentenced to two years imprisonment last year in 2023 in a separate case in Gujarat but was not jailed after appealing with India's top court.

The sentence did however force his brief disqualification from parliament until the Supreme Court suspended his conviction.

Friday's case came days after Modi and the BJP won nationwide elections, albeit with a reduced majority forcing them to rely on coalition partners to govern.