New Delhi/Nagpur: The Supreme Court of India hearing an appeal by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi to quash the defamation case filed by the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh has deferred the hearing to September 1.
Rahul Gandhi’s counsel Kapil Sibal told the court today, “Rahul Gandhi never accused the RSS institution for crime.” The SC accepted the statement saying, the inference of Rahul Gandhi’s statement is that he never accused RSS as an institution for the crime.
However, in 2014, while addressing a rally in Bhiwandi, Maharashtra, Gandhi had alleged that members of the RSS had assassinated Mahatma Gandhi.
Gandhi was reported as saying, “RSS people killed Gandhiji. They opposed Sardar Patel and Gandhiji.”
His comment kicked up a controversy, following which Rajesh Kunte, the secretary of Bhiwandi unit of RSS, filed a defamation suit in a Maharashtra court.
Following the suit, he was summoned by the trial court on January 6, 2015.
Rahul Gandhi sought an exemption for appearing before the court and appealed that the case should be quashed.
In May 2015, Rahul Gandhi moved the Supreme Court, seeking a dismissal of the criminal case. Later, on July 19, 2016 the Supreme Court said that making a ‘collective denunciation’ against an organisation is wrong.
The SC asked him to either apologise or face trial. As reported earlier, a bench led by Justice Dipak Misra said, “Why did you make a sweeping statement against the RSS branding everyone associated with the organisation in the same brush? You cannot collectively denounce a group.’ Citing a judgement of Punjab and Haryana High Court, the SC bench 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.