New Delhi, May 7:
The Supreme Court on Thursday suspended criminal defamation suit against Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for his speech about the RSS and the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi during elections last year.
While putting on hold the trial court proceedings in Maharashtra, the apex court bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Prafulla C. Pant also issued notice for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) activist Rajesh Kunte.
Kunte initiated the criminal defamation proceedings against the Congress vice president.
Besides Kunte, the notice has also been issued to the central and Maharashtra governments.
The court gave the Centre, Maharashtra government and the RSS activist four weeks to file their replies and another two weeks to Rahul Gandhi to file his rejoinder.
Fixing the next date of hearing on July 8, the court also made it clear that in the event of any failure to file response to Gandhi’s petition, the date of final hearing will not be changed.
Tagging Gandhi’s petition with that of Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal case already pending with the court, the court said it would only examine the validity of the provisions that permitted initiation of criminal defamation and not go into the merit of the case. (IANS)