Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday was granted bail by a Bhiwandi court on personal surety of congress leader Shivraj Patil in a criminal defamation case filed by RSS functionary against him for claiming that ‘RSS killed Gandhiji’.
While addressing a rally in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Rahul had said in Bhiwandi, “This is their fashion. They killed Gandhiji. RSS shot Gandhi. Today their people talk about Gandhi.”
Immediately after the speech a case was filed by local RSS leader Rajesh Kunte and Rahul had to make a couple of visits to the Bhiwandi court. He had moved the apex court challenging the order of the Bombay High Court refusing to quash the defamation case and summons issued to him by the trial court but the Supreme Court refused to interfere with the criminal proceedings pending against him before the trial court. The Supreme Court had asked Gandhi to either apologies or face trial in the case. “If you won’t apologise, you will have to face trial,” the court.
The Bench had said, “freedom is not crippled or curbed. What is curbed is freedom of speech. What the writers, politicians, critics or antagonists say, you must have great magnitude to swallow.”
Rahul’s lawyer in September had told the Supreme Court that the Congress vice-president stood by each and every word of his 2014 speech and was ready to face the trial. A Supreme Court bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and RF Nariman had said, “We have held it may be historically correct but the fact or the statement has to meet the test of public good. You can’t make collective denunciation.”
As Rahul arrived in the city on Tuesday, the Mumbai Congress has planned a grand welcome for the party vice-president in the city. On Wednesday morning congress workers came out in large number to rally behind Gandhi. Rahul Gandhi’s lawyer Narayan Iyer told the Bhiwandi court that Gandhi stands by his words and the truth will prevail.