Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had not blamed the RSS as an institution for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, but the people associated with it, the Supreme Court was told on Wednesday.
Senior counsel Kapil Sibal made the observation before a bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice R.F. Nariman while referring to an affidavit filed by Gandhi before the Bombay High Court challenging the defamation proceedings against him by a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker.
Reacting to the development, BJP's national spokesperson on Twitter said, "Rahul Gandhi has chickened out in Supreme Court saying he did not blame RSS for Mahatma assassination. What a surrender?"
@CNNnews18 Rahul Gandhi has chickened out in Supreme Court saying he did not blame RSS for Mahatma assassination. What a surrender?â€” GVL Narasimha Rao (@GVLNRAO) August 24, 2016
The bench, while taking note of Gandhi's statement before the High Court said that it can dispose of the matter after the Congress leader's unequivocal statement that he had not blamed the RSS as an organisation for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, but only the people linked with it,
However, the court deferred the hearing till Sep 1 as senior counsel Umesh Lalit, appearing for the RSS worker, wanted time to take instructions from his client.
Rahul Gandhi in May moved the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the Bombay High Court order dismissing his plea for quashing a defamation case against him for allegedly blaming RSS for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi by a RSS member.
In his complaint, Kunte, secretary of Bhiwandi unit of RSS, had alleged that Rahul told an election rally at Sonale on 6 March that "RSS people killed Gandhiji". He said the Congress vice president had sought to tarnish the reputation of the Sangh through his speech.
(With PTI and IANS inputs)