Defamation proceedings against Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi stayed by Supreme Court

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The Criminal defamation proceedings against Mr. Rahul Gandhi, the Vice- President of Congress Party, which is pending before the Magistrate Court, at Bhiwandi (Maharashtra), was stayed by the honourable Apex Court on this Thursday.

Justice, D. Misra led bench of the honourable Apex Court also dispensed with his personal appearance before the said Trial Court at Bhiwandi, where Mr. Rahul is supposed to appear on Friday.

Mr. Ruhul had moved before the Apex Court seeking quashing of the Criminal proceedings pending against for his alleged defamatory statements, where according to him the assassination of Nation’s Father, Mahatma Gandhi was a result of destructive philosophy of the individuals connected with the ‘Rashtriya Seva Sangh’- RSS.

The Senior Advocates, P. P. Rao and Mahalakshmi Pavani, being learned Counsels appearing for Mr. Rahul Gandhi, sought urgent hearing mentioning the case pending before a bench led by Justice, T. S. Thakur, as the Maharashtra’s Bhiwandi Court had summoned Amethi MP seeking his appearance before it on 8th of his month in relation to a defamation case.

The case was put forwarded by the RSS Member, Rajesh Kunte (complainant) accusing Mr. Rahul Gandhi under sections 499 and 500 of IPC that he made certain defamatory statements against RSS, while campaigning in the last general election. More, specifically, it was alleged that Mr. Rahul had put allegations against the RSS as its Member had killed Nation’s Father, Mahatma Gandhi in the year 1948.

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It can also be seen in the case that the said leader Congress, Mr. Rahul had first moved the Bombay High Court, for quashing the proceedings against him , however, his claim was rejected on 10th of March, this year.

On this Wednesday, Mr. Rahul Gandhi move the Apex Court with the Criminal Writ Petition, against the constitutional validity of the provisions of sections 499 and 500 of IPC, where amongst the other claims he sought de-criminalization of legal provisions as to defamation. Also it was contended by Mr. Rahul that the freedom could be curtailed in relation to the offences affecting society like Murder, theft, however, there is no discernible threat to the society at large in case of act of defamation.

As per Mr. Rahul’s claim, the legal frame work in relation to the Criminal Defamation is violating the International norms on freedom of speech.

The Bench of Justices, Dipak Misra and P. C. Pant has clubbed the petition of Mr. Rahul with the Petition preferred by Mr. Arvind Kejriwal and Mr. Subramanium Swamy. And it was decided to hear the case on 8th of upcoming July, this year, where the length of hearing will be based on issue as to ‘why defamation in India should be decriminalised?’

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by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan.