The court of Chief Judicial Magistrate of Bhiwandi AI Sheikh on June 12 framed charges against Congress President Rahul Gandhi in a defamation case filed against him by a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker.
Gandhi arrived at the court in Bhiwandi at 11.5 am amid heavy security cover and was greeted by people raising slogans in his support. A video of his arrival in court can be seen below:
The court framed charges against him under Indian Penal Code sections 499 and 500 (defamation). When the judge read out the charges against him, Gandhi said, "I plead not guilty." Rahul Gandhi was represented by his advocates Sudeep Pasbola, Narayan Iyer and Kushal Mor.
The court had on May 2 asked Gandhi to appear before it today to record his plea in the defamation case filed by RSS worker Rajesh Kunte in 2014. The judge allowed Rahul’s application to convert the trial from a summary trial to a summons trial, despite much opposition from Kunte’s lawyers.
The allegation of defamation stems from a speech made by Rahul Gandhi in Bhiwandi in March 2014 in the Lok Sabha election campaign, in which Rahul alluded to the role of persons from RSS in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.
The next hearing in the case is on August 10.
With PTI inputs.