A court in neighbouring Thane district has rejected Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s plea seeking transfer of a defamation suit filed against him by an RSS worker to another court. Principal District Judge A J Mantri rejected Gandhi’s plea in December last year. However, the order was uploaded only on Tuesday.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activist Vivek Champanerkar, in a 2019 civil defamation case, sought a token compensation of Rs 1 from Gandhi, accusing him of defaming the RSS by linking it to the 2017 murder of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh.
The suit is pending before a Civil Judge, Senior Division. Gandhi’s lawyer pleaded that the case should be transferred to Civil Judge, Junior Division because the compensation sought by the plaintiff was below Rs 5 lakh. The principal district judge noted in the order that Gandhi could raise the point of pecuniary jurisdiction before the same judge who is hearing the suit.
Champanerkar’s lawyer, Aditya Mishra, had submitted that Gandhi’s plea was nothing but a “frivolous application” to delay the hearing. Lankesh was shot dead outside her house in Bengaluru in September 2017, allegedly by the members of a right-wing extremist group.
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