THANE: A magisterial court in Bhiwandi in Maharashtra's Thane district today granted exemption to Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi from personal appearance in a case in which he has been accused of making defamatory references to RSS while campaigning during Lok Sabha polls.
First Class Judicial Magistrate S V Swami granted Rahul's prayer for exemption moved by his counsel citing his busy schedule due to Assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana.
Swami had directed the Congress leader to be present in the court today in connection with a case filed by Secretary of Bhiwandi unit of RSS Rajesh Kunte, who had claimed Rahul had "distorted history" and "defamed" the organisation by alleging that "RSS people had killed Mahatma Gandhi".
The court directed that Rahul be present himself before it on January 7, the next date of hearing.
The magistrate had on July 11 ordered processes to be issued against Rahul under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code (defamation) to ensure his presence before the court for allegedly accusing RSS of killing Mahatma Gandhi, while addressing an election rally at Sonale village on March 6.