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Bhiwandi court likely to frame charges against Rahul Gandhi in defamation case

The Congress president defamed the RSS by allegedly blaming it for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.

mumbai Updated: Jun 12, 2018 11:41 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Maharashtra,Bhiwandi court
Rahul Gandhi.(HT File Photo)

Congress president Rahul Gandhi will be in Bhiwandi on Tuesday where a local magistrate court is likely to frame charges against him for purportedly defaming the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) by blaming it for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.

“He [Rahul Gandhi] will be present as framing of charges is a crucial stage after which the trial will begin,” said Narayan Iyer, Gandhi’s lawyer. Iyer said he had moved the Bhiwandi court to convert the summary trial into a summon trial in April, 2018. Iyer had told the court that Gandhi wanted to put forth detailed evidence as they seek to record comprehensive evidence which does not happen during summary proceedings. “Before the charges are framed, the court will hear our application,” said Iyer. On March 6, 2014, a local RSS worker, Rajesh Kunte, 43, filed the defamation case against Gandhi over the latter’s speech at a rally in Bhiwandi, Thane. Kunte alleged that Gandhi had indirectly suggested that RSS workers killed Mahatma Gandhi. “The RSS people killed [Mahatma] Gandhi,” Gandhi had said at the rally.

Acting on Kunte’s complaint, the magistrate court had on July 11, 2014, summoned Gandhi to face trial. On March 10, 2015, the Bombay HC turned down Gandhi’s plea to quash the defamation case and refused to give him more time.

Gandhi then moved the Supreme Court with a special leave petition seeking permission to challenge the HC. He later withdrew the petition, expressing willingness to face the trial and said he will not apologise.

First Published: Jun 12, 2018 09:00 IST