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  Metros   Mumbai  22 Feb 2019  Court orders action against Rahul, Sitaram Yechury

Court orders action against Rahul, Sitaram Yechury

THE ASIAN AGE. | SHAHAB ANSARI
Published : Feb 22, 2019, 6:30 am IST
Updated : Feb 22, 2019, 6:30 am IST

Magistrate P.K. Deshpande directed issuance of process against Rahul Gandhi and Sitaram Yechury on the defamation suit filed by advocate Joshi.

Sitaram Yechury
 Sitaram Yechury

Mumbai: A magistrate court in Mazagaon has issued process against Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Sitaram Yechury of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in a defamation case filed by city-based lawyer, Dhrutiman Joshi.

The lawyer, a RSS worker, filed the defamation case against the duo for linking journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh’s murder with the “BJP-RSS ideology”. The court dropped the complaint against Sonia Gandhi. The defamation suit was filed in 2017.

 

Magistrate P.K. Deshpande directed issuance of process against Rahul Gandhi and Sitaram Yechury on the defamation suit filed by advocate Joshi.

Advocate Joshi sought issuance of summons and process for the criminal defamation case against the Gandhis and Yechury under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code for defaming the RSS and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). According to him, the statements were baseless and no investigating agency had hinted that the RSS was behind Lankesh’s murder.

After Lankesh’s murder, Rahul Gandhi had said, “Anybody who speaks against the ideology of the BJP, against the ideology of the RSS, is pressured, beaten, attacked and even killed.” According to the complainant, Yechury was heard saying, “The RSS ideology and the RSS men killed the said journalist.”

 

Magistrate Deshpande in his order observed, “I find that the statements are defamatory in nature. The accused number one and three (Rahul Gandhi and Yechury, respectively) have had no right to make such statements without verifying the facts.”

“No investigating agency can conclude that the RSS party or its followers were involved in the alleged murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh. Therefore, I found sufficient grounds to proceed against the accused number one and three for the offence punishable under section 500 (defamation) of the IPC,” said Mr Deshpande.

Although Sonia Gandhi had not made such a statement, action was also sought against her on grounds that being the then Congress president, she did not distance herself from the statement made by Rahul Gandhi.

 

The order for issuance of process is at an initial stage but once the process or summons is issued, the respondents will be required to appear before the court and prove their statements. The matter will now be heard in March.

Tags: rahul gandhi, sitaram yechury, communist party of india