shot-button
Subscription Subscription
Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Thane court imposes Rs 500 fine on Rahul Gandhi for delay in submitting statement

Thane court imposes Rs 500 fine on Rahul Gandhi for delay in submitting statement

Updated on: 20 January,2024 10:57 AM IST  |  Thane
mid-day online correspondent |

A Thane court has imposed a fine of Rs 500 on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for the delayed submission of a written statement in a civil defamation case. The case was filed by RSS activist Vivek Champanerkar, who sought damages of Rs 1 from Gandhi for connecting the RSS with the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh.

Thane court imposes Rs 500 fine on Rahul Gandhi for delay in submitting statement

Rahul Gandhi. Pic/PTI

A Thane court has imposed a fine of Rs 500 on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for the delayed submission of a written statement in a civil defamation case. The case was filed by RSS activist Vivek Champanerkar, who sought damages of Rs 1 from Gandhi for connecting the RSS with the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh.


Rahul Gandhi's lawyer, Narayan Iyer, attributed the 881-day delay to the extensive travel demands of his client, who resides in Delhi and is an active Member of Parliament. Despite granting condonation of the delay and accepting the written statement, the magistrate's court decided to impose a Rs 500 fine, the PTI report added.


According to the report, the next hearing for the defamation case is scheduled for February 15.


Background of the case against Rahul Gandhi

In 2017, journalist Gauri Lankesh was killed in Bengaluru. The gruesome assassination sent shockwaves across the country, eliciting outrage and calls for justice.

During the controversy, Rahul Gandhi, a major leader of the Indian National Congress party, made allegations associating the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu nationalist organisation, to Lankesh's death.

Vivek Champanerkar, an RSS member, then filed a defamation lawsuit against Gandhi in 2017. Champanerkar accused Gandhi of making false and defamatory allegations about the RSS, which harmed the organisation's reputation. He stated Gandhi's comments were based on guesswork and lacked specific evidence.

The Mumbai magistrate's court in 2019 dismissed charges against Rahul's mother Sonia Gandhi but summoned him and the CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury for allegedly making disparaging remarks about the RSS.

In 2020, the Congress leader filed an appeal against the summons in the Bombay High Court, claiming that his remarks did not qualify as defamation because they were made in the course of free speech. He, in his defence, insisted that his remarks were motivated by a more general worry about the increase in intolerance and violence in India towards journalists and activists.

He maintained that he only drew attention to a concerning trend of attacks on those who disagree with right-wing ideology, never accusing the RSS of being involved in Lankesh's murder. However, last year, the Bombay HC denied Gandhi's petition which allowed the trial in the case to begin.

"Exciting news! Mid-day is now on WhatsApp Channels Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest news!" Click here!

Do you think more FOBs are needed at railway stations in Mumbai to stop people from crossing tracks?

Register for FREE
to continue reading !

This is not a paywall.
However, your registration helps us understand your preferences better and enables us to provide insightful and credible journalism for all our readers.

Mid-Day Web Stories

Mid-Day Web Stories

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK