Political News, Nation, (Mumbai), July 4:-Rahul Gandhi has pleaded not guilty before a Mumbai court on Thursday which is hearing a defamation case by an RSS worker over the Congress leader’s alleged comments linking Gauri Lankesh’s killing with the “BJP-RSS ideology”.
The Mumbai court granted Rahul Gandhi bail on surety amount of Rs 15,000. Former MP Eknath Gaikwad gave the surety for Rahul Gandhi.
The Congress leader arrived in Mumbai on Thursday morning and left for the court in south Mumbai in connection with the RSS defamation case, a day after he publicly announced his resignation.
An RSS activist has filed a defamation case against Gandhi for allegedly linking the organisation to the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh.
The Mazgaon metropolitan magistrate’s court, in February, issued summons to Rahul Gandhi and CPM leader Sitaram Yechury in response to a private complaint filed by Dhrutiman Joshi, a lawyer and worker of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Joshi had filed the complaint in 2017 against Rahul Gandhi, the then Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and its general secretary Yechury.
Lankesh was shot dead outside her house in Bengaluru in September 2017, allegedly by members of a right-wing extremist group.
Joshi alleged that within 24 hours of her death, Rahul Gandhi told reporters that “anybody who speaks against the ideology of the BJP, against the ideology of the RSS, is pressured, beaten, attacked and even killed.”
The complaint also alleged that Yechury stated that it was the RSS’ ideology and RSS people who killed the journalist who was known for trenchant criticism of right-wing politics.
The court had issued summons against Rahul Gandhi and Yechury but dismissed the complaint against Sonia Gandhi and the CPM, saying a party cannot be held liable for comments made by individuals.
Rahul Gandhi is facing another defamation case at Bhiwandi in neighbouring Thane district, filed by a local RSS worker, for allegedly blaming the Sangh for Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination.
Menahwhile, Rahul after coming out of court addressing media persons said that “This is an ideological fight and as he is fighting for the last five years and he will continue fight with renewed vigour added that he is enjoying the fight.”
He says the he is standing with poor, downtrodden and the fight will continue.
-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)