Source: News Bharati English19 Jul 2016 14:11:49
New Delhi, July 19: The Supreme Court Tuesday rebuked Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi for accusing the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) of "killing Mahatma Gandhi."
While hearing the petition filed by Rahul Gandhi to reject the matter, the Supreme Court asked the Congress leader to "apologize or face trial" for dragging the name of RSS into the Gandhi murder case.
The Supreme Court said “we have upheld the defamation law. The purpose of the law is to obey the law so that there is harmony rather than anarchy,” asserting that it will examine whether Rahul Gandhi’s comment qualifies as defamation.
To the argument that the defamation law flies in the face of the Constitutional right to freedom of speech, the Court said: “Freedom is not crippled or cut. Every day a writer, politician will speak something. The purpose of the law is not to turn people into litigants.”
The Supreme Court also rejected Rahul Gandhi’s request for two weeks’ time on the plea that his lawyer and senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal will be unavailable , and said ‘someone else can argue’.
The SC ruling came as a huge setback for the Congress party and personally for Rahul Gandhi in. During an election campaign meeting in 2014 in Maharashtra, Rahul Gandhi had accused the RSS of assassinating the Mahatma.
The local RSS leader Rajesh Kunte had filed a defamation case in the local court at Bhiwandi. Last year, Gandhi attended a court hearing in Maharashtra’s Bhiwandi town - where the defamation case was filed - even though the Supreme Court had said he could skip it.
In November, he had refused to apologise for his comments. As his lawyer, Kapil Sibal told the court that he would prefer to fight his case.
Flaying Rahul Gandhi, the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked him to apologise or face trial for blaming RSS for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.
“The case must be decided on merits, whether what you spoke was for public good or not,” the Supreme Court observed.
“You can’t make a collective denunciation of an organisation,” the apex court said giving the ultimatum to Rahul Gandhi. The apex court has given time till July 27 (Wednesday) to Rahul Gandhi to detail his arguments.
Mahalakshmi Pavani, who represented Rahul Gandhi Tuesday, said: “There were tough observations from the court saying ‘face trial’. We hope there won’t be any trial.”
Reacting to the Supreme Court’s observation, RSS said that the apex court's ruling has exposed Congress party.