The Gujarat High Court on Monday extended its interim stay on proceedings in Surat court against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in a criminal defamation case filed over his alleged "Modi" surname remarks.

The complainant in the case, State Minister Purnesh Modi, had sought a stay on proceedings and also quashing of the Surat Court's order rejecting his application to make Gandhi "personally explain contents of the CDs and/or pen drives and/or such other electronic records" related to his speech during which he had made the alleged remarks.

Justice VM Pancholi posted the hearing to April 8 and said the interim stay granted earlier on the proceedings will continue till then.

The criminal defamation case was filed against Gandhi over his alleged "Modi" surname remarks made at an election rally at Kolar in Karnataka during campaigning for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

The complainant alleged that Gandhi's alleged remarks, "how come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?" defamed the entire Modi community.

The former Congress president had pleaded not guilty to charges in the case during his appearance before the Surat court last year.

The Surat court had also recorded his statement in the case filed by the BJP leader in April 2019 under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 499 and 500 (dealing with defamation).

During the trial, the complainant had submitted certified copies of three CDs which he wanted the court to play in presence of Gandhi and enable him to personally explain its contents, as per the provisions of section 313 of the CrPC (power to examine accused).

In his address at the rally in Kolar on April 13, 2019, Gandhi had allegedly asked, "Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi... how come they all have Modi as the common surname?"

With PTI inputs