A metropolitan court here on Tuesday issued fresh summons to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for August 9 in a criminal defamation suit filed by a local BJP councilor for allegedly calling Union Home Minister Amit Shah a “murder accused” in the run up to the April-May Lok Sabha elections.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate D.S. Dabhi issued the fresh summons after an earlier one issued on May 1, which was to be served through the Lok Sabha Speaker since Gandhi is a Member of Parliament, was returned.
The Speaker had returned the summons stating that he had no locus standi in the matter, according to the complainant’s lawyer Prakash Patel.
The fresh summons asking the Congress leader to appear on August 9 will now be served directly at his residence in New Delhi.
Earlier, the court had observed that prima facie there was a case of criminal defamation against Gandhi under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code.
BJP corporator Krishnavadan Brahmbhatt had alleged that Rahul Gandhi made objectionable remarks against Shah at an election rally in Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh on April 23.
According to him, the remark was defamatory since the Union Home Minister had already been acquitted by a CBI court in 2015 in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case and no higher court allowed any petition challenging the acquittal.
Shah had immediately rebuffed Gandhi’s statements after the rally and even asserted that Gandhi had no legal knowledge.