In a major setback to Rahul Gandhi, the Supreme Court on July 19 told the Congress vice president that he’ll face trial in a defamation case if he doesn’t apologise. And who did Gandhi defame? The RSS.
In March 2014, Gandhi had allegedly said at a rally in Bhiwandi, Maharashtra, that Mahatma Gandhi was killed by RSS men.
He is alleged to have said that “Gandhiji was shot dead by RSS people and their people talk of Gandhiji”.
The RSS sued him for criminal defamation. Petitioner Rajesh Kunte had said that Gandhi’s comment was “false, frivolous, baseless and wanton allegations, imputations against the RSS and its people with malafide motive to harm the reputation of RSS, its followers, people, swayamsevaks”.
According to reports, admonishing Rahul Gandhi a bench of justices Dipak Misra and RF Nariman said he “can’t make wholesale denunciation of an organisation”.
The court will hear Gandhi’s arguments on July 27. The bench said that Rahul will have to show the truthfulness or the public good in making such statement.
Rahul Gandhi had moved the Supreme Court in May 2015 for quashing the criminal case lodged against him before a Magisterial court in Bhiwandi. The apex court had granted interim stay, but Rahul had refused to accept the court’s suggestion to express regret. Anyone found guilty under criminal defamation faces a jail-term of upto two years.