“The date granted for recording of his (Rahul’s) plea (which is equivalent to framing of charges) is March 3,” said
Magistrate Tushar Vaze, adjourning the case. The case against Rahul was filed by a local RSS functionary Rajesh Kunte over the former’s speech in Bhiwandi on March 6, 2014 in the run up to Lok Sabha polls.
During the rally, Rahul had allegedly claimed, “The RSS people had killed Gandhi.” Prior to the adjournment, Rahul’s lawyer Ashok Mundergi and Narayan Iyer told the court that they have not received the copy of the entire newspaper (which published the news item on the Congress leader) but only the cuttings.
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Mundergi told the court that he will have to go through the entire documents and he will argue if needed, before the
plea is recorded. He then, along with Iyer, moved an adjournment application. However, Nandu Phadke, advocate of the complainant in the case, urged the court that Rahul’s plea may be recorded today but his request was turned down.
Rahul arrived in the court here at around 12.30 PM amid tight security accompanied by senior Congress leaders Ashok Chavan and Sanjay Nirupam, besides party supporters. As the magistrate was dictating some order in another
case, Rahul was made to wait till 1.30 PM before his case was called out. He was seen exchanging pleasantries and speaking with Kunte.
Later, in a brief interaction with waiting mediapersons outside the court, Rahul said, “My fight is against the
ideology which killed Gandhiji. I remember Gandhiji. My fight is against the ideology which removed his poster from Khadi (KVIC) posters.
“Gandhiji is in the heart of every Indian. He was killed but his thought can’t be erased,” Rahul, who was heading for a rally in poll-bound state of Goa, said. At the last hearing in November, the Bhiwandi court had granted him bail in the case after former Union Minister Shivraj Patil stood as surety. When Mundargi had requested for a date and sought the court to exempt Rahul from personal appearance, owing to his political commitments, the complainant’s lawyer had urged that Rahul may be treated as an “ordinary citizen” and adjourned
the hearing till today.
On September 1 last year, Rahul had preferred to face the trial as an accused in the defamation case, submitting before the Supreme Court that he stood by “every word” of his statement.