Settlement only if Rahul Gandhi tenders written apology: Bhiwandi RSS leader
 Source : News Bharati English  Date : 31-Aug-2016

Bhiwandi/Nagpur, Aug 31: The Rahul Gandhi-RSS case is set to take a new turn with Rajesh Kunte, RSS Karyawah of Bhiwandi who filed the defamation case against the Congress Vice President put forth a condition for the withdrawal of the case.

In a telephonic conversation with Kunte said that the case could be withdrawn only and only if the Congress Vice President tenders a written apology again and give an undertaking in the Supreme Court that he would not repeat the allegation against the RSS for the assassination of the Mahatma.

Kunte, who filed a criminal defamation case against Rahul Gandhi for his statement holding the RSS responsible for the killing of Mahatma Gandhi, has ruled out any settlement after the Congress leader’s tweet in which he re-affirmed his commitment to what he had said earlier. “I stand by each and every word I said”, Rahul Gandhi had tweeted soon after the SC accepted his counsel Kapil Sibal’s argument.

The Supreme Court on August 24 indicated that it was interested in closing the case. This was evident from the inference the SC bench drew from Kapil Sibal’s argument that “Rahul says that he has never accused RSS as an institution behind the Gandhi murder and only some people associated with the RSS, then that should do... We can close the matter”.    

The SC will hear the case on September 1. Against this background, Kunte told that Rahul’s tweet is enough indication that he continues to blame RSS for the crime it did not commit. In such a situation, withdrawal of the case is not possible, he said.

He, however, said that only a written apology could be the basis for settlement or else let Rahul face the trial. Kunte’s lawyer had sought time from the apex court to take instructions from his client when the SC indicated that it was inclined to close the case. The SC granted his request and gave him a week’s time.

Rahul’s reaffirming his earlier statement in a tweet is seen as a setback to Sibal’s attempt to get the case settled. Kunte said that he would be happy if the Supreme Court sent back the case to the Bhiwandi Magistrate court to be heard on its merits.  

Meanwhile, Union I & B Minister M Venkaiah Naidu commented on Rahul’s statement in the Supreme Court saying , “Good, Rahul finally admitted before the SC that RSS is not accused in the Mahatma’s killing”. This provoked the Congress Vice-President to reaffirm his stand through a tweet.

During an earlier hearing, when Sibal clarified that Rahul had not blamed the entire RSS organisation for the assassination, the bench had said the only way out for Rahul was by proving the statement was for public good.

“We feel the case should be decided on merits. Was the statement made for public good or not? Else, face the trial,” the court had said. Kunte had filed the complaint in a Bhiwandi (Maharashtra) court, stating that Rahul Gandhi had said at an election rally in Thane district on March 6, 2014 that “RSS ke logon ne Gandhiji ko goli mari” (RSS people killed Gandhiji).

The magistrate in Bhiwandi initiated proceedings on Kunte's complaint and issued a notice to Rahul directing him to appear before it. Rahul approached Bombay High Court seeking quashing of the defamation case, which dismissed his plea March 10. The apex court is hearing Rahul's plea challenging the HC order.