In RSS Defamation Case, Maharashtra Court Calls Rahul Gandhi On June 12

The court said that on June 12 it would pass an order on the application and would also record Rahul Gandhi's plea, and asked him to come to the court that day

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In RSS Defamation Case, Maharashtra Court Calls Rahul Gandhi On June 12

Rahul Gandhi had earlier moved the Supreme Court seeking quashing of the case


Thane:  Congress president Rahul Gandhi has been told to appear in a Maharashtra court on June 12 to record his plea in a defamation case filed against him by an RSS functionary. The court in Bhiwandi, 40 kilometres from Mumbai, had on Wednesday heard arguments on Mr Gandhi's application, seeking a detailed recording of evidence instead of a "summary trial", and adjourned the matter till June 12.

The court said that on June 12 it would pass an order on the application and would also record Mr Gandhi plea, and asked him to come to the court that day.

Rajesh Kunte, a worker of the BJP's ideologue Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, had in 2014 filed the case against Rahul Gandhi after watching the Congress leader's speech in Bhiwandi. Mr Kunte in his complaint had said the Congress leader alleged that the RSS was behind the killing of Mahatma Gandhi.

Mr Kunte said Rahul Gandhi's alleged statement harmed the reputation of the RSS.

While trial in such matters are normally held summarily, Rahul Gandhi filed an application last month seeking for it to be conducted as a "summons trial".

"A summary trial is short and will be completed with just submitting the written arguments. We have sought for a summons trial which would go into the in-depth recording of the evidence," Rahul Gandhi's lawyer Narayan Iyer said.

"The case relates to historical facts and hence, we need to rely on several documents and would like to record the evidence of experts," Mr Iyer said.

Rahul Gandhi had earlier moved the Supreme Court seeking quashing of the case. The top court in July 2016 said he should not have resorted to "collective denunciation" of an organisation, and would have to face trial if he did not express regret for his remark.

The Congress leader had declined to accept the suggestion and expressed willingness to face the trial.

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