Rahul Gandhi faces defamation charges over V D Savarkar remarks

PTI, May 28, 2024, 8:56 AM IST

The Pune Police on Monday submitted its enquiry report in a court stating there is prima facie truth in the complaint filed against Rahul Gandhi by V D Savarkar’s grand nephew who had accused the Congress leader of defaming the Hindutva ideologue in a speech made in London in 2023.

The report was submitted in the court of judicial magistrate (first class) Akshi Jain, said advocate Sangram Kolhatkar, who represents Satyaki Ashok Savarkar, the complainant.

Kolhatkar said the court may issue a notice to Rahul Gandhi seeking his appearance.

Satyaki Savarkar had said his lawyers moved the city court with a complaint under sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code last April.

The court had asked the Vishrambaug police to verify the proof submitted by Satyaki and submit a report by May 27.

”Vishrambaug police stated that Satyaki Savarkar had filed a complaint in the court last April accusing Congress leader Rahul Gandhi of making false claims about the late revolutionary (V D Savarkar) in a speech made in London in March 2023,” said Kolhatkar.

As per the complaint, Rahul Gandhi claimed in his speech that V D Savarkar had written in a book that he and five to six of his friends once beat up a Muslim man and he (Savarkar) felt happy.

Satyaki Savarkar had said that no such incident had ever taken place, and V D Savarkar never wrote any such thing anywhere, the complaint stated, terming Rahul Gandhi’s allegation as fictitious, false and malicious.

”The Vishrambaug police submitted a report today before the court and told the court that in their probe, it has been revealed that V D Savarkar had not written about such incident in any of his books but despite that Gandhi made that kind of remarks during his speech in London in March 2023 and defamed Savarkar,” said Kolhatkar.

Police stated that prima facie there is a truth in the complaint filed by Satyaki Savarkar that Rahul Gandhi had defamed V D Savarkar in his speech. When contacted Tukaram Nimbalkar, assistant police inspector, confirmed that the report had been submitted in the court.

Notably, a metropolitan court in Surat last March convicted Rahul Gandhi of criminal defamation for his 2019 remark, ”How come all thieves have Modi as the common surname?”, and sentenced him to two years in jail. Subsequently, the sessions court granted him bail on April 3.

The Supreme Court in August stayed his conviction in the defamation case.

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