Never blamed RSS for Gandhi's killing: Rahul

Never blamed RSS for Gandhi's killing: Rahul

Statement likely to settle defamation case filed by RSS

Never blamed RSS for Gandhi's killing: Rahul

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday agreed to state “unequivocally” before the Supreme Court that he never accused the RSS of assassinating Mahatma Gandhi.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Gandhi, submitted before a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and R F Nariman that he did not blame the RSS for the crime but the people associated with it.

In a development which may lead to settlement of the defamation case filed against him, Sibal, along with senior advocate Mahalakshmi Pavani, reiterated the stand taken by Rahul before the Bombay High Court.

The counsel read out the portion of the affidavit submitted on December 15, 2014, stating, “A careful reading of the relevant part of the speech indicates that as per the petitioner, the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi was a result of destructive philosophy of persons associated with the RSS. It was also clearly suggested that the assassins were associated or affiliated with the RSS.”

“He never accused RSS, as an institution, of the crime,” the affidavit had stated.
In view of the statement, the bench asked senior advocate U R Lalit, representing RSS worker Rajesh Kunte, who filed a complaint against Rahul in a Bhiwandi court, to take instruction.

“What we understand from the statement, the accused (Rahul) never blamed RSS as an institution that assassinated Mahatma Gandhi but the persons associated with it,” the bench noted.

Posting the matter for further consideration on September 1, the bench asked the counsel of the RSS worker if that statement would “address his grievance and satisfy him”.

Though the counsel agreed that it would be the end of the matter, he sought time for taking instruction.

Initially, to the court's poser if Gandhi made the controversial statement, Sibal maintained, “the court can't force me at this stage to admit or deny it.”

Role of police obligatory

The counsel for the RSS worker maintained that the role of police became obligatory even in a private complaint of defamation if the accused did not reside in the territorial jurisdiction of the magistrate before whom the complaint was filed.

His response came as the court had on July 27 questioned the magistrate for seeking police report in the defamation case filed in Bhiwandi court after Rahul’s remarks at a public rally at Sonale in Bhiwandi on March 6, 2014.

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