New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi may be cleared of defamation charges after the Congres vice president backtracked today and told the Supreme Court he never meant to accuse the whole of the RSS of assassinating Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi.
The defamation case against the Congress vice president may just be dropped, because of Rahul recanting. The RSS activist who filed the criminal defamation case had offered to withdraw the case against Rahul if he absolved the RSS of the assassination. “Rahul Gandhi never accused the RSS as (an) institution for the crime,” the Congress vice president’s counsel, Kapil Sibal, told the court.
The court said the inference from Rahul’s statement is that he never accused the RSS as an institution for Gandhi’s assassination. “Rahul never blamed the RSS but blamed a person associated with the RSS,” the court said it inferred from Rahul’s affdavit.
Nevertheless, the top court scheduled the next hearing for September 1, after the RSS activist’s counsel U R Lalit sought time to get further instructions from his client.
Rahul had made these accusations during a Thane rally in March 2014. “RSS people killed Gandhiji and today their people (BJP) talk of him…They opposed Sardar Patel and Gandhiji,” Rahul had said then.
Today, though, he said quite the opposite. On July 19, the Supreme Court told Rahul to express regret for his comments holding the RSS responsible for Gandhi’s assassination or be ready to face a defamation trial.
“Why did you make a sweeping statement against the RSS branding everyone associated with the organization in the same brush… You can’t make wholesale denunciation of an organization,” the SC bench said while hearing the defamation case.
The top court also said that if Rahul wanted to defend himself, and was not ready to express his regret, than it will be better that he faces trial. Rahul had moved the Supreme Court in May 2015 for quashing the criminal case lodged against him.