Theon Tuesday observed that Rahul Gandhi, who blamed for 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,” a bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and R F Nariman said.
The bench said that “freedom is not crippled or curbed. What is curbed is freedom of speech. What the writers, politicians, critics or antagonists say, you must have great magnitude to swallow.”
The bench questioned the speech made by Rahul and wondered “why he made a speech quoting wrong historical fact”.
The apex court said that they have applied their mind andwill have to face the trial in the case.
“What we have to see is the petitioner’s allegations come under Section 499 (defamation) of IPC or not. Judgement is already there. You have to face trial, if you don’t express regret,” the bench said.
It also said “the purpose of law is not to convert people into litigants. Purpose of law is that people obey law. Peace and harmony should prevail rather than chaos.”