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HomeExclusiveRahul Gandhi Summoned in Defamation Case Over Remarks on V.D. Savarkar

Rahul Gandhi Summoned in Defamation Case Over Remarks on V.D. Savarkar

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is entangled in another legal issue, this time involving a defamation case concerning his comments about Hindutva ideologue V.D. Savarkar. The case was initiated by Satyaki Savarkar, the grandnephew of the late Savarkar, leading to a Pune court summoning Gandhi to appear on August 19. The order was issued by Judicial Magistrate Akshi Jain on May 30 under Section 204 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

The controversy dates back to April of the previous year when Satyaki Savarkar lodged a defamation complaint against Gandhi. The complaint stemmed from a speech Gandhi delivered in London in 2023, where he allegedly made defamatory remarks about Savarkar. Satyaki accused Gandhi of making “fictitious, false, and malicious” statements, which prompted the judge to direct the Pune police to investigate the matter under Section 202 of the CrPC. Following their investigation, the police submitted their report on May 27, leading the judicial magistrate to acknowledge the complaint and proceed with the case against Gandhi.

In his complaint, Satyaki Savarkar referenced Gandhi’s speech to the Overseas Congress in the United Kingdom, where Gandhi allegedly stated that Savarkar had written in a book about an incident where he and several friends assaulted a Muslim man, deriving pleasure from the act. Gandhi reportedly questioned his audience about whether this constituted cowardice. Satyaki contended that these remarks were intentionally made to inflict mental distress on him and his family.

Satyaki strongly refuted Gandhi’s claims, asserting that Savarkar had never written such a book nor had any such incident occurred. He called for stringent action against Gandhi under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code (criminal defamation), which can result in a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment.

This is not the first time Rahul Gandhi has faced legal trouble for his public statements. In March 2023, a Surat court convicted him for making defamatory remarks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a speech in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Gandhi received the maximum punishment of two years imprisonment for that offense, leading to his immediate disqualification from the Lok Sabha. However, the Supreme Court later stayed the conviction in April, which reinstated Gandhi’s membership in the Lok Sabha.

The current defamation case against Gandhi underscores the ongoing tension and legal challenges he faces due to his outspoken political commentary. As the case proceeds, it will likely draw significant public and media attention, highlighting the sensitive nature of defamation laws and political speech in India.

The upcoming court appearance on August 19 will be a critical moment for Gandhi, as he navigates the legal implications of his statements about a historical figure deeply revered in certain segments of Indian society. This case may also influence the broader discourse on political rhetoric and accountability in the country.

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