Not guilty, pleads Rahul Gandhi in Mumbai court in RSS defamation case
Rahul Gandhi appeared at a court in Mumbai on Thursday morning for a defamation case hearing, filed against him by a Mumbai-based lawyer and RSS worker. Rahul Gandhi pleaded not guilty and has been released on a surety of Rs 15,000, said advocate Kushal Mor representing Gandhi.. Former MP Eknath Gaikwad has given the surety.
The court had issued summons against Rahul Gandhi and CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury for their alleged defamatory comments linking journalist Gauri Lankesh’s killing with the “BJP-RSS ideology”.
Gauri Lankesh was shot dead outside her house in Bengaluru in September 2017, allegedly by members of a right-wing extremist group.
Watch | Rahul Gandhi pleads ‘not guilty’ in RSS defamation case against him
In his complaint, Dhrutiman Joshi alleged that after the murder, which took place on evening of September 6, 2017, Rahul Gandhi said that “anybody who speaks against the ideology of the BJP, against the ideology of the RSS is pressured, beaten, attacked and even killed”.
The complaint alleged that Yechury said that it was “RSS ideology and RSS men” who killed the journalist.
The defamation complainant was filed in September 2017. The court has observed that the Rahul Gandhi and Sitaram Yechury should not have made such statements without verified facts.
The court issued summons against Rahul Gandhi and Yechury but dismissed the complaint against Sonia Gandhi and the CPI(M), saying a party cannot be held liable for comments made by individuals.
Rahul Gandhi is facing another defamation case at Bhiwandi in neighbouring Thane district, filed by a local RSS worker, for allegedly blaming the Sangh for Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination.