On Tuesday, the Supreme Court slams the Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi in a defamation case that was filed by an RSS worker, Rajesh Kunte for allegedly blaming the organisation for Gandhiji’s assassination. The apex court asked him to express regret or face trial for his statement. Mr Gandhi in a public rally in Thane district in March 2014 said, “RSS people killed Gandhiji and today their people (BJP) talk of him…They opposed Sardar Patel and Gandhiji.”
The SC bench consists of Justices Dipak Misra and R F Nariman said, “You must face trial. The case must be decided on merits, whether what you spoke was for public good or not. You can’t make the wholesale denunciation of an organisation. The purpose of law is not to turn citizens into litigants, and history is the biggest enemy of privacy.” Mr Gandhi was also questioned about “why he made a speech quoting wrong historical fact.”
The Congress VP Rahul in May 2015 was moved to court in the RSS defamation case. The case would have closed last year in the month of November when the court suggested Mr Gandhi to apologise the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to settle the case. But he refused to do so and instead the leader’s counsel, senior advocate Harin Raval said that they would like to continue the fight in court by stating that the head did not refer to RSS directly.
“We have held it may be historically correct but the factor the statement has to meet the test of the public good. You can’t make collective denunciation,” said the Supreme Court bench. “What we have to see is the petitioner’s allegations come under Section 499 (defamation) of IPC or not. Judgement is already there. You have to face trial if you don’t express regret,” added SC bench.
Mr Gandhi requested the court for postponement of hearing as his lawyer, and senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal will be unavailable for the coming two weeks. The court said any other lawyer could proceed and called the hearing for July 27 with a warning that no further postponement will be entertained.