Political slugfest between Congress and RSS seemed to be drawing to a conclusion with Rahul Gandhi today choosing to set the records straight by telling Supreme Court that he had never blamed RSS as an institution for killing Mahatama Gandhi but persons associated with it were behind the assassination.
He buttressed his stand by citing paragraphs from his affidavit filed in the Bombay High Court, while challenging the summons issued to him as an accused for his alleged defamatory statement in a 2015 election rally in Maharashtra. A bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and R F Nariman said if the complainant agrees to the submission, it will take the statement on record and dispose of the petition.
“What we understand is that the accused never blamed RSS as an institution that killed Mahatma Gandhi but the persons associated with it were responsible for the killing,” the bench said. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Congress Vice President, cited the affidavit filed before the High Court saying he had only accused certain people of RSS and not the organisation as the killer of Mahatma Gandhi.
“I never made the statement that RSS killed Mahatma Gandhi but persons associated with the RSS killed him,” said the senior advocate, who intervened midway when senior counsel U R Lalit, appearing for the complainant, was justifying intiation of criminal proceedings against Gandhi.
The bench indicated it would pass an order on September 1 that Gandhi has “unequivocally” stated that he had never blamed RSS as an institution for the assassination but persons associated with it had killed Mahatma Gandhi. It asked senior advocate Lalit appearing for Rajesh Mahadev Kunte, Secretary of Bhiwandi Unit of RSS and the complainant, to take instructions on the option of disposing of the matter and posted it on September 1.
Lalit said he would take instruction as to whether the statement, given in the affidavit, is taken on record, then the petition can be disposed of or not. At the outset, Sibal questioned Kunte’s statement before the police and said the police had no role whatsoever in a private defamation case.