Mon, Dec 5, 2016 | updated 07:58 AM IST

Rahul Gandhi never accused RSS as an institution for Mahatma Gandhi's killing: SC

Updated: Aug 24, 2016 15:24 IST

New Delhi, Aug 24 (ANI): The Supreme Court, which today heard an appeal by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to quash the defamation case filed against him by the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), stated that he never accused the 'institution of being responsible for Mahatma Gandhi's killing'.

Senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, who appeared for Gandhi, told the apex court that the Congress vice-president never accused the RSS as an institution for the crime.

"'RSS ke logon ne hatya ki' is entirely different from 'RSS had killed Mahatma Gandhi'," Sibal told the court.

The apex court will hear the matter next on September 1.

Addressing a rally in Bhiwandi, Maharashtra, in 2014, the Congress vice-president had alleged that the RSS members had assassinated Mahatma Gandhi on January 30, 1948.

The Congress vice-president was reported as saying, "RSS people killed Gandhi ji. They opposed Sardar Patel and Gandhi ji."

In May 2015, Rahul had moved the Supreme Court, seeking a dismissal of the criminal case. Later, on July 19, 2016, the Supreme Court said that indulging in 'collective denunciation' against an organisation is wrong.

Signalling major trouble for the Congress vice-president, the apex court rapped the former and said that he must face a trial.

The Congress vice-president has maintained that his statement on RSS' involvement in Mahatma Gandhi's killing was a historical fact and his counsel has asserted that his statement was within his right to free speech.

The case was by filed by RSS worker Rajesh Kunte against Gandhi in a Maharashtra court for allegedly blaming the RSS for Mahatma Gandhi's assassination.

On May 7 last year, the apex court had stayed proceedings against the Congress vice-president, pending before a magisterial court in Bhiwandi in Maharashtra's Thane district.

It was alleged by Kunte, the secretary of the Bhiwandi unit of the RSS, that the Congress vice president had told an election rally at Sonale on March 6 that "RSS people killed Gandhi ji".

He said Rahul had sought to tarnish the reputation of the RSS through his speech.

Following the complaint, the magistrate's court had initiated proceedings and issued a notice to Gandhi, directing him to appear before it.

The Congress leader then approached the high court seeking exemption from appearance and quashing of the complaint.

Gandhi's lawyers had argued that complaint was motivated and malafide and deserved to be quashed. (ANI)