India: Rahul Gandhi summoned by Assam court in RSS defamation case

India: Rahul Gandhi summoned by Assam court in RSS defamation case

The Kamrup Metropolitan Court in northeastern Assam state sent out summons to the Congress scion to face trial under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Photograph: (IANS)

Reuters Guwahati, Assam, India Aug 7, 2016, 11.50 AM (IST)
An Indian court on Saturday summoned vice-president of opposition Congress party, Rahul Gandhi, to appear before it next month in connection with a defamation case filed against him by Hindu right-wing organisation, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

The Kamrup Metropolitan Court in northeastern Assam state sent out summons to the Congress scion to face trial under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Gandhi had alleged that RSS workers had stopped him from entering the Barpeta Satra, a 16th century Vaishnavite monastery in Assam, on December 12, 2015.

"The (…unclear) Kamrup Court has today taken cognizance of the offence and has issued summon against Rahul Gandhi as an accused to stand trial in the case under section 500 of the Indian Penal Code and his date of appearance is 29/9/2016," said complainant's lawyer, Vijon Mahajan.

Gandhi's remarks triggered controversy when he alleged that women were made to sit at the entrance of the Satra, refusing him entry. An RSS volunteer Anjan Bora had filed a criminal defamation case against Gandhi in the court claiming that he had tarnished the organisation's image by saying he was not allowed by its members to enter the Vaishnavite monastery.

Later, Satra officials denied the charges and condemned the act. In the suit, the complainant charged Gandhi with making false statements to defame the RSS. The RSS, the ideological root of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party, has been banned four times since its inception, once after a former member of the group assassinated Mahatma Gandhi in 1948.

(Reuters)

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Gandhi had alleged RSS workers had stopped him from entering the Barpeta Satra, a 16th century Vaishnavite monastery in Assam

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