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Rahul Gandhi's disqualification from LS adds to his troubles in RSS defamation case

India Today logo India Today 31-03-2023 Vidya
Rahul Gandhi's disqualification from LS adds to his troubles in RSS defamation case © Provided by India Today Rahul Gandhi's disqualification from LS adds to his troubles in RSS defamation case

A Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) activist, who had initiated criminal proceedings for defamation against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, has made a fresh request before the Bhiwandi court to bring the latest status of Gandhi's disqualification from Parliament on record.

RSS activist Rajesh Kunte had filed a private complaint in 2014 for criminal defamation after watching Gandhi's speech where he allegedly accused the RSS of Mahatma Gandhi's assassination. In this case, Gandhi had filed an application last year, seeking permanent exemption from appearance in the Bhiwandi court.

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The application has already been heard and was kept for order on April 1. Kunte said that since one of the main reasons cited by Gandhi for seeking permanent exemption was that he is a Member of Parliament and so he has to be in Delhi and that he had to visit his constituency, attend party work, travel etc., his disqualification from Parliament should be brought on record.

With the sudden change in circumstances due to Gandhi's disqualification, Kunte submitted a pursis (written note/information) to the court saying after Gandhi's conviction by a Surat court in a defamation case, the Congress leader was disqualified.

Kunte submitted that since Gandhi is not an MP any more, his application seeking permanent exemption had now become infructuous (pointless/unnecessary).

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He added that the offence under which Gandhi was held guilty and sentenced to two years in jail was of a similar nature to his present case.

Kunte said that the court has taken note of his pursis and if his lawyers are asked to argue, then they will on April 1, when the application is already listed for order.

The court in Surat had on March 23 sentenced Gandhi to two years in jail in the 2019 criminal defamation case filed against him over his "why all thieves have Modi surname" remark. But the court also granted him bail and suspended the sentence for 30 days to allow him to appeal in a higher court. The next day, he was disqualified as a member of the Lok Sabha.

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