A Thane civil court on Tuesday has summoned Congress president Rahul Gandhi and CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury to appear before it on April 30 over the charges of defamation filed by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
According to the reports, a civil defamation case seeking a token compensation of Re.1 from Congress President Rahul Gandhi and CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechuri was filed by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) activist Vivek Champanerkar. RSS leader Champanerkar had accused both Gandhi and Yechury of defaming the RSS by linking it to the killing of alleged Naxal sympathiser Gauri Lankesh.
In his plea, Champanerkar has said that Rahul Gandhi and Yechury are in the habit of blaming the RSS for any act of violence and this needs to be stopped. Champanerkar’s counsel Aditya R Mishra urged the court to direct them to stop linking the RSS with any such incidents.
Advocate Aditya Mishra said that the suit seeks two prayers, “One, we are asking for an injunction that these people and their party workers should be barred from speaking against the RSS whenever Gauri Lankesh case is mentioned. Secondly, we are seeking Re 1 as compensation for this defamation,” said Mishra.
Following journalist Gauri Lankesh’s murder on 5th September 2017, Rahul Gandhi had said, “anyone who speaks against the ideology of the BJP-RSS is pressured, beaten, attacked and even killed.”
Sitaram Yechury, who was part of the Rally for Resistance which was held following Gauri Lankesh’s murder had spoken out against the RSS, claiming that Sardar Patel had banned the RSS.
Reportedly, another RSS activist and lawyer, Dhrutiman Joshi has filed a criminal defamation case against Rahul Gandhi and Sitaram Yechury in the Mumbai metropolitan magistrate court. In the criminal defamation case, complainant Dhrutiman Joshi has cited some remarks made by Gandhi and Yechury against the RSS after the killing of Lankesh, a strong Hindutva critic.
Rahul Gandhi seems to have a habit of resorting to shooting down false accusation and then taking a U-turn following a case of defamation against him. In the past, he had made controversial statements against the RSS after he had accused the nationalist organisation of killing MK Gandhi. He is also facing another defamation case in a court at Bhiwandi in Thane district over his alleged comments against the RSS regarding Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination.
During the trial, Rahul Gandhi had made a U-Turn when he had told the Supreme Court that he did not blame the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi on the RSS. He further said his remark had been misinterpreted by the RSS worker who filed the initial complaint against him.