The Supreme Court on Wednesday adjourned hearing into the defamation case filed against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) over his alleged remarks on the Mahatama Gandhi killing till August 23.
Noting that there is irregularity in the procedure that magistrate adopted in the complaint case against Gandhi, the Supreme Court said it might refer the matter back to the trial court in Maharashtra for a fresh consideration.
A bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice RF Nariman told the counsel of both Gandhi and complainant, Rajesh Kunte, that the magistrate had asked for a police report on the application accusing the Congress vice-president of defaming RSS.
Kunte, a RSS worker, claimed Gandhi had in an election speech in 2014 blamed BJP’s ideological outfit for Mahatama Gandhi’s assassination.
“No magistrate can seek police inquiry in a criminal defamation case. It criminal is to be proved on basis of evidence given by complainant and police has no role in it,” the bench said.
The bench asked the advocates of both parties to address the court on the “procedural irregularity.” “If we conclude there is one then we will ask the magistrate to look into the complaint afresh,” said the court.
The same bench had on July 9 virtually reprimanded the Congress leader for the “wholesale denunciation of RSS” and told him he will have to face the trial to prove his innocence.
“You must face trial, case must be decided on merits whether what you spoke was for public good or not,” the bench had told the Amethi MP.