Rahul Gandhi addresses the crowd in Panipat
Rahul Gandhi, a leader of India's main opposition Congress party, addresses the crowd at a public rally held during the ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra (Unite India March), in Panipat, India, January 6, 2023. Reuters

Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi Monday lodged an appeal against his conviction for defamation, hoping to overturn a judgement that resulted in his expulsion from parliament a year before a general election is due.

The court accepted his petition and posted it for hearing on April 13.

Gandhi, 52, was found guilty of defamation last month in a case brought by a state lawmaker from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after comments Gandhi made in a 2019 speech were deemed to be insulting to the prime minister and other people surnamed Modi.

(Writing by Rupam Jain in New Delhi; editing by YP Rajesh and Jason Neely)