Rahul Gandhi defamation case: Framing of charges against Congress chief deferred by Thane court
The court’s decision came after his counsel, Narayan Iyer, moved an application seeking the Member of Parliament’s absence due to political engagements.mumbai Updated: Apr 24, 2018 00:01 IST
The Bhiwandi court on Monday deferred framing of charges against Congress party president Rahul Gandhi, in the defamation case filed against him for blaming the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. The court’s decision came after Rahul Gandhi’s counsel, Narayan Iyer, moved an application seeking the Member of Parliament’s absence due to political engagements.
Iyer told the court that his client wants a detailed recording of evidences in the case. They are seeking comprehensive recording of evidence, including witness testimonies, which does not happen during summary proceedings.
“We have moved an application seeking to convert summary trial into a summon trial. This case is of historical importance. With summons trial, both the defence and the prosecution, will be in a position to produce detailed evidences,” said Iyer.
The application is to be heard on May 2.
“Gandhi wants to be present during the framing of charges against him as it is a crucial stage during the trial” Iyer said.
On March 6, 2014, a local RSS worker, Rajesh Kunte, had filed the defamation case against Rahul Gandhi over the latter’s speech in Bhiwandi, Thane. In the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections of 2014, Rahul Gandhi had allegedly in a rally said, “The RSS people killed (Mahatma) Gandhi.”
Kunte had alleged that the Congress leader had defamed the Hindu right-wing organisation in his speech by blaming it for the killing of the Father of the Nation. Mahatma Gandhi was shot dead by a Hindu nationalist, Nathuram Godse, on January 30, 1948.
The Bombay high court (HC) had turned down the Congress leaders’ plea to quash the criminal defamation case, but had exempted him from personal appearance. Rahul Gandhi then moved the Supreme Court with a special leave petition for permission to challenge the HC dismissal of his plea. However, he later withdrew the plea, expressing readiness to face trial and had also said that he won’t apologise for his statement, as demanded by the complainant.