In a big relief to Rahul Gandhi, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said his statement doesn’t suggest that he blamed RSS as an institution for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and it is inclined to drop criminal defamation case against him if complainant is satisfied with his clarification.
A bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and R S Nariman, which was hearing the petition filed by Gandhi challenging the summons issued to him as an accused in a defamation case, said it will dispose of the petition if the complainant agreed.
The bench noted that the Congress leader had filed an affidavit in the Bombay High Court while seeking quashing of the defamation complaint against him stating that, at an election rally, he had not blamed RSS as an institution for the assassination of Gandhi but a person associated with it.
The bench, which posted the matter for September 1, asked the complainant’s counsel and senior advocate U R Lalit to seek instruction whether the complainant was ready to end the case if Gandhi’s statement is taken on record.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Congress Vice President, drew the attention of the bench to the affidavit filed in the high court.
The bench, which heard the matter for about half-an-hour, said “what we understand is that the accused never blamed RSS as an institution that killed Mahatma Gandhi but the person associated with it.”
The court last month had pulled up Rahul Gandhi over “collective denunciation” of the RSS and said he may have to face trial for his comments that RSS killed Mahatma Gandhi.
“RSS people killed Gandhiji and today their people (BJP) talk of him…They opposed Sardar Patel and Gandhiji,” Rahul had said while addressing a public rally in Maharashtra’s Thane district in March 2014.
Rahul Gandhi had moved the Supreme Court in May 2015 for quashing the criminal case lodged against him for his comments against the RSS during an election rally in March 2015.