The Bombay High Court on Tuesday exempted Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi from appearing before a magistrate’s court in Bhiwandi in a case filed against him for defamation of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

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A private complaint had been filed against Gandhi for his comments on Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) during one of his Lok Sabha election rallies in 2014.

During his rally in Bhiwandi, Rahul Gandhi  allegedly linked ‘RSS people’ to  Mahatma Gandhi’s murder.

His comments offended Rajesh Kunte, an RSS official of the Bhiwandi unit, who filed a criminal complaint against Gandhi, seeking action against him.

However Gandhi, not one to take it lying down, filed a petition against the complaint saying it was solely based on Kunte’s opinion.

According to the Hindustan Times, his petition defends his speech saying, “it was suggested the assassins of Mahatma Gandhi were associated or affiliated with RSS, and he never accused the RSS of being an institution of crime.”

On Tuesday, 6 January, Justice ML Tahaliyani exempted Gandhi from appearing personally in court and scheduled a further hearing on the petition filed by the Congress vice president to 17 February, reports The Hindu.

“The court has granted interim relief and will take up hearing on the petition on the next date. Till then, the magistrate court has been asked to not seek my client’s personal appearance”, Gandhi’s lawyer Advocate RS Cheema, told television news channels.

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HC exempts Rahul Gandhi from appearing in RSS defamation case