Questioning the magistrate’s order on whether the police have any role in the criminal defamation case filed by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, the Supreme Court on Wednesday adjourned the hearing till 23 August, reported CNN-News18.
The apex court said that the trial court had asked police for a report following the defamation complaint against Rahul instead of examining evidence themselves. The police have no authority to conduct an inquiry in a criminal defamation case, the Supreme Court added.
Earlier, the apex court had told Rahul Gandhi that he must either apologise or face trial for saying that the RSS was responsible for Mahatma Gandhi's assassination.
The Congress vice-president had earlier moved the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the Bombay High Court order dismissing his plea for quashing the defamation case against him.
At a rally in Bhiwandi, Maharashtra, in 2014, Rahul Gandhi had reportedly said that "RSS people killed Gandhiji. They opposed Sardar Patel and Gandhiji", reported The Times of India.
Rajesh Kunte, the secretary of Bhiwandi unit of RSS, had alleged that Rahul at an election rally blamed the RSS for Gandhi's death. Kunte, according to PTI, had said that the Congress leader had sought to tarnish the reputation of the Sangh through his speech.
Kunte had then filed the defamation suit in a Maharashtra court against Rahul.
The TOI report also said that Rahul had made fun of senior BJP leaders for claiming credit for the introduction of computers to India. He said that the credit should have gone to Rajiv Gandhi and Sam Pitroda.
Following Kunte's complaint, the magistrate's court had initiated proceedings and issued a notice to Rahul directing him to appear before it. Rahul was summoned to appear before the trial court on 6 January, 2015.
The prosecution had opposed Rahul's petition seeking exemption from appearance and quashing of the complaint and argued that Rahul can plead his case and lead evidence during the trial before the magistrate.
The high court had dismissed the petition and refused to grant a stay on its order. It had allowed Rahul some time to appeal against the order in the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court bench, after perusing the judgement of Punjab and Haryana High Court, said it only says that Nathuram Godse was an RSS worker and added that Godse killed Gandhi and RSS killed Gandhi are two different things.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Jul 27, 2016 15:24:56 IST