Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today appeared in a local court in connection with a criminal defamation case against him, notwithstanding the Supreme Court stay on the proceedings in the matter.
He presented himself before Magistrate D P Kale in line with the commitment given by his counsel on March 30. The court posted the case of defamation against him for allegedly blaming the RSS for the Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination.
Gandhi, who spent less than 15 minutes in court, told reporters that he came to honour the commitment given to the court.
“We respect the judiciary, that is why I am here. I had made a commitment to the court. I am here to fulfil that commitment,” said a post on his office’s Twitter handle @office 0f RG, which was launched only yesterday.
“The fight which Gandhiji fought is our fight. We will fight that and we will win,” said another tweet.
Gandhi arrived in Mumbai this morning on way to Bengaluru and drove to Thane.
The Supreme Court had yesterday stayed the proceedings against him in the criminal defamation case filed by Rajesh Kunte, an RSS functionary, before the Bhiwandi trial court.
“There shall be a stay of further proceedings in a case pending before the trial court till the next date of hearing,” an apex court bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and P C Pant had said yesterday.
The court had also tagged Rahul’s petition, in which he has also challenged the constitutional validity of the penal provisions dealing with criminal defamation, along with that of BJP’s Subramanian Swamy and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
“We are not going to touch upon the merits of these cases. We are not going to address the merits of these cases. We are only on the Constitutional validity of sections 499 and 500 of IPC,” the bench had said.
Rajesh Kunte, the complainant who is Secretary of the Bhiwandi had alleged that the Congress leader Gandhi had said in an election meeting in Sonale in the district on March 6 last year that an RSS worker killed Mahatma Gandhi. Kunte is Secretary of the Bhiwandi unit of RSS
After he had lodged the complaint, the magistrate issued notice to Rahul for his appearance.