Congress President Rahul Gandhi will now face trial on charges of defamation as a court in Bhiwadi, Maharashtra on Tuesday framed charges against him on a complaint filed by an RSS worker after the former blamed the RSS for Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination.
47-year-old Rahul Gandhi appeared before the court of Presiding Officer Al Shiekh amidst heavy security and pleaded “not guilty” to charges under section 499 and 500 IPC.
Rahul Gandhi has been sued by RSS worker Rajesh Kunte for his comments made during a rally in 2014. The Congress leader had earlier moved the Supreme Court praying that the complaint case be dismissed but later withdrew his petition saying he was ready to face the trial.
On Tuesday morning, when Rahul Gandhi appeared in the court, the judge asked him, “On March 6, 2014 in a rally held for elections at Bhiwandi, you defamed the organization to which the complainant belongs. Your speech, which was telecast on channels and also published in newspapers, damaged the reputation of the complainant and his organization and you thereby committed an offence under sections 499 and 500 of IPC (defamation). Do you plead guilty?
“I plead not guilty,” Rahul said, as reported by NDTV.
He will now be facing trial on the charge of defamation.
After the court hearing, Rahul Gandhi is reported to have told the waiting media, “Let the BJP and RSS slap as many cases as they want against me. We will fight them and win”.