Rahul withdraws plea, to face trial for blaming RSS for Mahatma’s killing
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi told the Supreme Court on Thursday that he stood by his remarks against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh on the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and withdrew his plea to quash a defamation case filed by the right-wing organisation.Updated: Sep 02, 2016, 01:19 IST
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will have to stand trial for blaming the RSS for Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination after the Supreme Court on Thursday refused to quash a defamation case against him.
The Congress leader, who withdrew his plea for dismissing the case after being refused relief, will now be tried in a Bhiwandi court in Maharashtra, where a complaint was filed against him by a Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh activist in 2014.
“I stand by each and every word. I will never take my words back. I stood by it yesterday, I stand by it today and I will stand by it in future. I am ready to go to trial,” senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Gandhi, said.
A bench headed by justice Dipak Misra also refused to exempt Gandhi from appearing in person. The date for hearing will now be fixed by the Bhiwandi court.
Even Nathuram Godse’s brother said the RSS men killed Mahatma Gandhi, Sibal told the court. Godse, an advocate from Pune, shot dead the Mahatma in New Delhi on January 30, 1948.
The RSS accused Rahul Gandhi of making U-turns and questioned his reluctance to face trial. “Is he scared to face truth? He keeps on taking U-turns,” All India Prachar Pramukh of RSS Manmohan Vaidya tweeted.
Addressing a poll rally in Maharashtra’s Bhiwandi in the 2014, the Congress leader said “RSS men shot Gandhiji”, prompting Rajesh Kunte to file a complaint.
The 46-year-old told the Supreme Court last month that he didn’t blame the RSS as an institution for the Mahatma’s assassination, inviting criticism for his “U-turn”.
A few days later, the Congress leader said he stood by every word he said, condemning the “fighting the hateful & divisive agenda” of the RSS, the ideological mentor of the ruling BJP.
Appearing for Kunte, senior advocate UR Lalit told the court that statement was expected of Rahul Gandhi, as for 60 years, the Congress had sought to blame the RSS for the Mahatma’s killing every time elections were called.
“Whenever and wherever there is an election, RSS is maligned,” he said.