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Defamation case against Rahul Gandhi: RSS leader withdraws appeal in SC

New Delhi: RSS leader Rajesh Kunte on Thursday withdrew his appeal filed in the Supreme Court challenging a Bombay High Court order, which declined to entertain his plea seeking a transcript of Rahul Gandhi’s speech made in 2014, allegedly blaming the RSS for Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, be admitted as evidence in a defamation case.

A bench comprising justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Bela M. Trivedi told Kunte’s counsel that the court agreed with the high court’s observation in the matter.

The high court had noted that a person charged with defamation cannot be compelled to admit or deny any document and the prosecution/complainant has to stand on its own feet and prove its case on its own.

In September 2021, the high court had dismissed Kunte’s plea seeking that the transcript of Rahul Gandhi’s speech made in 2014, in which he allegedly blamed the RSS for Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, be admitted as evidence in a defamation case against him.

A court in Bhiwandi in Maharashtra is hearing a defamation case filed in 2014 by Kunte against Rahul Gandhi for reportedly saying that “RSS people killed Mahatma Gandhi”, allegedly at an election rally in Bhiwandi.

In 2016, the top court had declined to quash the defamation case.

The Bombay High Court, in March 2015, had dismissed Rahul Gandhi’s plea seeking to quash the defamation case, prompting him to move the apex court. Later, he withdrew the plea from the apex court.

In June 2018, the Bhiwandi court framed charges against Rahul Gandhi for allegedly making defamatory remarks against the RSS. Rahul Gandhi pleaded not guilty and the court framed charges and the case was set for trial.