Mumbai: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury will face trial after pleading not guilty in a defamation case filed by an RSS worker.
The court read out to Rahul and Yechury the complaint and asked if they were pleading guilty or not guilty to the charges levelled against them.
The two leaders, who pleaded not guilty, will now face trial during which the court would record their statements and that of the complainant and other witnesses.
The court granted Rahul and Yechury bail on a surety amount of Rs 15,000 each and also granted them permanent exemption from appearance before it during hearings in the case. Former Congress MP Eknath Gaikwad stood as surety for Rahul.
Rahul and Yechury then signed necessary documents and left the court premises. Earlier, the Congress leader reached the Mazgaon-Sewree metropolitan magistrate’s court amid heavy security arrangements, following summons issued against him in February this year. Yechury also reached the court a short while later.
Dhrutiman Joshi, an RSS activist and advocate had filed the complaint against Gandhi and Yechury, seeking defamation proceedings to be initiated against them for allegedly linking the Sangh to the killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh.
Meanwhile today, a day after publicly announcing his resignation as Congress president, Rahul said he will engage in the ‘ideological fight’ with BJP and RSS with 10 times more vigour than he did during the last five years.
“I am with the poor, farmers and labourers. This fight (against BJP and RSS) will continue,” he told reporters.