Source: News Bharati English01 Sep 2016 17:59:23
New Delhi, Sept 1: The Supreme Court Thursday ordered Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi to face trial in the lower court of Bhiwandi for defaming Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Rahul Gandhi had accused the RSS of murdering Mahatma Gandhi in one of his pre-election public rallies in March 2014. Following this, Rajesh Kunte, RSS Karyawah of Bhiwandi had filed a criminal defamation petition against Rahul Gandhi in the lower court at Bhiwandi.
The Mumbai High Court had refused to stay the case and Rahul had to attend the first hearing. Following this, he had moved the Supreme Court for dismissal of the case.
The Supreme Court had directed the Congress leader to apologise to the RSS or face the trial. However, during the August 24 hearing, the SC had almost come to the point of dismissing the case based on the inference it drew from the submission of Kapil Sibal, the counsel for Rahul Gandhi, who pleaded that the Congress leader did not blame the RSS as an institution but referred to some people associated with it who killed the Mahatma.
Rahul, however, remained adamant and declared on tweeter that he stood by each word he had said about RSS. “I stand by what I said”, he tweeted.
The RSS too suggested that the case could be withdrawn in case Rahul tenders a public apology and a written undertaking to the Supreme Court that he would not blame the RSS for the murder of Mahatma Gandhi.
As expected Rahul Gandhi refused to apologise and told the Supreme Court that he would stand by what he said earlier. He withdrew his appeal from the Supreme Court for quashing of the defamation case.
A bench led by Justice Dipak Misra of the Supreme Court dismissed the petition as withdrawn after Rahul’s counsel Kapil Sibal said he would prefer to stand trial before a magistrate in the criminal defamation case. The court also refused to grant Rahul Gandhi exemption from personal appearance before the magistrate in the case.
Sibal said his client stood by every word he had said in his election speech in Maharashtra’s Bhiwandi and that he was ready to go to trial. “He will not withdraw his words and is ready to face trial,” Sibal told the apex court.
Commenting on Rahul Gandhi’s obstinate stand BJP leader NC Shaina said, “This shows the confusion in his mind,” adding, “trying to reinvent you at the cost of RSS is unfortunate.”
RSS reacts: The RSS reacted sharply on Supreme Court's directive to Rahul Gandhi the Sangh family fountainhead questioned the Congress leader's U-turn and asked why he avoided trial in the case for two years. "Then why Rahul Gandhi avoided the trial for two years under one pretext or other? Is he scared to face the truth? He keeps on taking U-turns," RSS Communications department head Manmohan Vaidya said.