New Delhi, July 27: The Supreme Court on Wednesday adjourned the hearing in Rahul Gandhi – RSS case till August 23 after raising a question on the magistrate’es order on whether the police have any role in the criminal defamation case filed by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) against Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi.
According to CNN-News18 report the Supreme Court had asked police for a report following the defamation complaint against Rahul Gandhi instead of examining evidence themselves. The police have no authority to conduct an inquiry in a criminal defamation case, the apex court observed.
It may be mentioned that the same Supreme Court earlier had directed Rahul Gandhi to either apologise to the RSS or face trial for holding the RSS responsible for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.
In an election meeting in Bhiwandi in Maharashtra Rahul Gandhi had made such a statement accusing RSS of Gandhi murder. At a rally in Bhiwandi, in 2014, Rahul Gandhi had reportedly said that “RSS people killed Gandhiji. They opposed Sardar Patel and Gandhiji”, reported The Times of India.
Rajesh Kunte, the secretary of Bhiwandi unit of RSS, had alleged that Rahul at an election rally blamed the RSS for Gandhi's death. Kunte, according to PTI, had said that the Congress leader had sought to tarnish the reputation of the Sangh through his speech. Kunte had then filed the defamation suit in a Maharashtra court against Rahul.
The Congress vice-president had earlier moved the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the Bombay High Court order dismissing his plea for quashing the defamation case against him.
Following Kunte's complaint, the magistrate's court had initiated proceedings and issued a notice to Rahul directing him to appear before it. Rahul was summoned to appear before the trial court on 6 January 2015.
The prosecution had opposed Rahul’s petition seeking exemption from appearance and quashing of the complaint and argued that Rahul can plead his case and lead evidence during the trial before the magistrate.
The high court had dismissed the petition and refused to grant a stay on its order. It had allowed Rahul some time to appeal against the order in the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court bench, after perusing the judgement of Punjab and Haryana High Court, said it only says that Nathuram Godse was an RSS worker and added that Godse killed Gandhi and RSS killed Gandhi are two different things.