Guwahati: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi was on Saturday summoned as an accused by a magisterial court to face trial in a criminal defamation case for his remarks against the RSS over temple entry episode in Barpeta last year.
Kamrup Chief Judicial Magistrate Sanjoy Hazarika summoned Gandhi on 21 September to face trial under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code which states, whoever defames another shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend which may extend to two years or with fine or with both.
Earlier on 2 August, the court had deferred for Saturday its decision whether to issue summons against the Congress vice president as an "accused" in the criminal defamation case here.
An RSS volunteer Anjan Bora had filed the criminal defamation case against Gandhi in the CJM, Kamrup's court alleging that he had tarnished the organisation's image by saying that he was not allowed by RSS members to enter Barpeta Satra, a 16th century Vaishnavite monastry, in Assam on 12 December, 2015.
Bora in his case claimed that Gandhi was supposed to go to the Satra on 12 December, 2015 but he did not go there and instead took part in a padayatra. Two days later on December 14, Gandhi told a press conference in Delhi that he tried to enter the Satra but was instead prevented from doing so by its elected members and RSS supporters, Bora stated in his case.
Describing the Congress leader's assertion as a "blatant lie", Bora said in his petition that a lot of people including women and elected leaders of the Satra were waiting for Gandhi but he never visited the holy place.
Bora alleged that by making his claim in Delhi, Gandhi had brought down the image of RSS in society. The court had examined several witnesses, including elected members of the Satra.