Defamation case: Rahul makes a u-turn, says did not blame RSS for Mahatma's assassination

Rahul Gandhi had not blamed the RSS as an institution for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, but the people associated with it, the Supreme Court was told.

Published: 24th August 2016 03:10 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th August 2016 03:46 PM   |  A+A-

Rahul Gandhi PTI

Congress Party Vice President Rahul Gandhi (File Photo | PTI)

By IANS

NEW DELHI: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today told the Supreme Court that he had never blamed RSS as an institution that killed Mahatma Gandhi but had stated that a person associated with it was responsible for his assassination.

A bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and R F Nariman, which was hearing the petition filed by Gandhi challenging the summons issued to him as an accused in a defamation case, said it will dispose of the petition if the complainant agreed.

The bench noted that the Congress leader had filed an affidavit in the Bombay High Court while seeking quashing of the defamation complaint against him stating that, at an election rally, he had not blamed RSS as an institution for the assassination of Gandhi but a person associated with it.

The bench, which posted the matter for September 1, asked the complainant's counsel and senior advocate U R Lalit to seek instruction whether the complainant was ready to end the case if Gandhi's statement is taken on record.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Congress Vice President, drew the attention of the bench to the affidavit filed in the high court.

The bench, which heard the matter for about half-an-hour, said "what we understand is that the accused never blamed RSS as an institution that killed Mahatma Gandhi but the person associated with it."

The apex court had on July 27 criticised the trial court in Maharashtra for asking the police to probe the criminal defamation complaint lodged against Gandhi for his remarks allegedly accusing RSS for assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.        

The apex court's remarks had come after the same bench said that the Congress leader should not have resorted to "collective denunciation" of an organisation (RSS) and will have to face trial if he does not express regret.         

Rajesh Mahadev Kunte, secretary of Bhiwandi unit of RSS, had alleged in his complaint that Gandhi told in an election rally at Sonale on March 6, 2015 that the "RSS people killed Gandhiji". The case is pending before a magisterial court in Bhiwandi in Maharashtra's Thane district.  

Earlier, the bench had questioned the speech and wondered "why he had made a speech quoting wrong historical fact". The penal provisions make defamation an offence punishable with up to a two-year jail term.            

Kunte had alleged that the Congress leader had sought to tarnish the reputation of RSS through his speech. Following the complaint, the magistrate's court had initiated proceedings and issued notice to Gandhi directing him to appear before it. The Congress leader was summoned to appear before the trial court on January 6 this year.        

Gandhi had then approached the High Court seeking exemption from appearance and quashing of the case.  

The High Court had dismissed the petition and refused to grant stay on its order, leading to an appeal in the Supreme Court.   

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp