New Delhi: Congress today said that Rahul Gandhi will not tender an apology over his remarks against the RSS and will instead substantiate them with historical facts and evidence before the court to support his claim.
"On a suggestion of Shri Rahul Gandhi expressing regret or apology, the question does not arise. Such a suggestion has been made in the past and not accepted by Rahul Gandhi.
"Mr Gandhi is a mature politician with intimate knowledge of historical facts. Congress Party and Mr Gandhi will defend these remarks at appropriate forum," Congress' chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala said.
He said since the matter is pending adjudication, "we will not like to comment further on the issue".
The Congress leader said that Rahul Gandhi had challenged constitutionality of defamation proceeding besides the order of Maharashtra High Court wherein summoning order was challenged.
He said while the bunch of petitions challenging defamation provisions have been rejected, challenge to Maharashtra High Court order is pending adjudication before Supreme Court in a Special leave petition.
“The matter was listed today. Supreme Court nearly adjourned the order to July 23 without passing any order. Any remark exchanged at the bar between counsel for the parties and court cannot be commented upon as the matter is subjudice," he said.
At the AICC briefing, party spokesman Gaurav Gogoi said that "Rahul Gandhi has said that he will not seek an apology over what he has said and will fight the case as he wants to present his facts along with historical proof and evidence to prove his point and help bring out the truth before everyone that we all know."
He added, "At this point, Congress party stands with Rahul Gandhi and we are confident that we will be able to present a strong case, present all the facts and historical evidence that we are supposed to make."
Asked about today's order of the Supreme Court, he said there is a case which is undergoing in the Supreme Court and the final judgement is yet to be heard and the case is also yet to be heard on its full merits, for which they are waiting.
"Today, the Supreme Court has made some observations. We would not like to comment on the observations. Nonetheless, we are confident that when the case would be heard on its merits, we will present historical evidence and documents that support Rahul Gandhi's claim. We respect the Supreme Court."
The Supreme Court today observed that Rahul Gandhi, who blamed RSS for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, should not have resorted to "collective denunciation" of an organisation and will have to face trial in the defamation case against him if he does not express regret.
"We have held it may be historically correct but the fact or the statement has to meet the test of public good. You can't make collective denunciation," the court said. PTI