Savarkar’s kin file fresh defamation case against Rahul Gandhi in Pune

The complaint accuses Gandhi – who was disqualified from parliament following conviction in a similar case – of trying to malign Savarkar’s reputation by making false allegations.

New Delhi | Updated: 12 April, 2023 6:00 pm IST
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (file photo)

In what could bring more trouble to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, a criminal defamation complaint has been filed against him at a court in Pune over his old remarks against Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.

Savarkar’s grandson Satyaki Savarkar filed the complaint under sections 499 (defamation) and 500 (punishment for defamation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) before the court of a judicial magistrate on Wednesday.

The complaint accuses Gandhi – who was disqualified from parliament following conviction in a similar case – of trying to malign Savarkar’s reputation by making false allegations.

In an old video, Gandhi says, “Savarkar, in his book, said that he felt happy after he along with 5-6 others beat up a Muslim man. If five people beat up one person and one of them feels good, this is cowardice.”

Speaking to The New Indian, Satyaki’s counsel Anirudh Ganu said that Gandhi’s claims are totally baseless and the late activist did not mention any such event anywhere. “His statement is totally false,” he said.

Gandhi, who often targets Hindutva icons in his public speeches, is facing multiple cases for his objectionable remarks in different cities across India. In March, his conviction in a similar criminal defamation case led to his disqualification from the Lok Sabha.

He was held guilty by a lower court in Surat for his remarks comparing those bearing ‘Modi’ surname to thieves. “Why do all thieves, be it Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, or Narendra Modi, have Modi in their names?” he asked a rally in Karnataka during the 2019 general elections.

Gandhi was sentenced to two years in jail after he was convicted under section 500 of the IPC, which prescribes for defamation a simple imprisonment for a “term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.”

Following the conviction, he was disqualified by the Lok Sabha secretariat and later he was asked to vacate the official residence given to him in the national capital.

In a similar development, Gandhi was asked to appear before a court in Patna on Wednesday in a defamation suit filed by former Bihar deputy CM and BJP leader Sushil Modi over the Gandhi scion’s ‘Modi surname remark.

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