Rahul didn’t blame RSS, but linked people for Mahatma’s assassination, SC told

New Delhi, Aug 24 (IANS) Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had not blamed the RSS as an institution for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, but the people associated with it, the Supreme Court was told on Wednesday.

Senior counsel Kapil Sibal told this to a bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman while referring to an affidavit filed by Gandhi before the Bombay High Court challenging the defamation proceedings against him by a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker Rajesh Madhav Kunte.

The bench, while taking note of Gandhi’s statement before the high court, said that it can dispose of the matter after the Congress leader’s “unequivocal” statement that he had not blamed the RSS as an organisation for Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, but only the people linked with it.

However, the court deferred the hearing till Sep 1 as senior counsel Umesh R. Lalit, appearing for the RSS worker, wanted time to take instructions from Kunte.

Referring to the affidavit filed by the Congress Vice President before the High Court, Sibal told the apex court that Gandhi has never accused RSS for the Mahatma’s assassination.

He, Sibal said, had told the high court that “the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi was a result of the destructive philosophy of the persons associated with the RSS. It was also clearly suggested that the assassins were associated or affiliated with RSS” and never accused RSS as an institution of the crime.

Sibal said this as during the course of the hearing on the procedure followed by the magistrate’s court, Lalit said that Gandhi has admitted before the high court that he had said that RSS assassinated Mahatma Gandhi.

Disputing the contention, Sibal read the portion from Gandhi’s affidavit before the High Court wherein he had blamed the “destructive philosophy of the persons associated with the RSS” for the assassination of Mahatma.

At this, the bench said that it would record the statement by Sibal and put the matter to rest.

As the court indicated the order it may pass, Sibal said: “I am not making any addition, alteration or subtraction” in what Gandhi had said in his affidavit.

Lalit, who appeared to agree with the bench, however, sought time as his instructing counsel wanted in turn to take instructions from the RSS activist.

Kunte had initiated the criminal defamation suit against the Congress Vice President objecting to his election speech at Sonale wherein he had apparently blamed RSS for Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination.



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