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       Rahul Gandhi pleads "not guilty" in defamation case filed by RSS Leader
 
         Posted on :12:33:02 Jun 12, 2018
   
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       Last edited on:01:48:02 Jun 13, 2018
         Tags: Rahul Gandhi, Maharashtra , RSS
 

Bhiwandi:  Rahul Gandhi today pleaded "not guilty", as charges were framed against him by a judge in a defamation case filed by an RSS leader in Maharashtra.

The Congress vice president has been sued over his comments at a rally before the 2014 election blaming the RSS for Mahatma Gandhi's assassination in 1948. In 2016, he was granted bail by the court in Bhiwandi, which is around 32 km from Mumbai. The case was filed by an RSS worker, Rajesh Kunte.

Mr Gandhi arrived in court this morning surrounded by heavy security; he was greeted by slogan-shouting Congress workers.

As he took the stand, judge AI Sheikh read out charges and asked: "Do you plead guilty?"

The 47-year-old replied, "I plead not guilty". He has been charged with harming the reputation of the RSS.

The RSS or Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is the ideological mentor of the ruling BJP.

The Congress president had in 2016 requested the Supreme Court to dismiss the case but later withdrew the petition, telling the court that he was ready to be tried on charges of defaming the RSS.

The RSS had said at the time it could withdraw the case if Mr Gandhi stated publicly that he does not blame it as an institution for the death of the Mahatma. Mr Gandhi, however, told the court that it is not an option.

"I stand by each and every word. I will never take my words back... I am ready to go to trial," Mr Gandhi had said.

On a two-day visit to Maharashtra, Mr Gandhi is expected to address party workers in Mumbai and interact with corporators in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation or BMC.

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