The former Chief Minister of Bihar and former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav (who is a very casteist man) had alleged in April 2004 before the 2004 Lok Sabha polls in a TV debate with Sharad Yadav on Star News that Sharad Yadav has allied with people who killed Mahatma Gandhi, implying that BJP and RSS are killers of Mahatma Gandhi. At that time, a case should have been filed against Lalu.
1- Organiser Date: October 26, 2003
The Statesman, English daily from New Delhi and Kolkata, has tendered an unconditional apology to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for its editorial-Not illegal but stupid-published on 29-05-2000, in which it had alleged that the ‘RSS was an organisation which killed Gandhi’. It may be recalled that on the publication of the above mentioned editorial, Shri Darshan Lal Jain, Prant Sanghchalak of Haryana, filed a complaint under section 499/500 Cr.P.C. on September 26, 2000, through Shri Pradeep Garg, advocate, against the newspaper for its defamatory remarks, in the court of Shri Atul Maria, Judicial Magistrate, Class-I, Jagadhari. The accused namely Shri C.R. Irani, editor in chief, The Statesman, Kolkata, Sudhir Kumar, Printer and Publisher, Kolkata, Ravindra Kumar, Managing Editor, Kolkata, Saubhik Chakravarty, Resident Editor, New Delhi and Shri Saby Thomas, printer and publisher, New Delhi were accorded to be summoned by the Magistrate on December 16, 2002. Shri C.R. Irani, Shri Ravindra Kumar and Shri Saubhik Chakraborty appeared before the court in person on March 28, 2003 and were bailed out on furnishing the surety of Rs 7000 each. The other two accused were again required to appear before the court on September 27, 2003. On their failure to appear, bailable warrants were issued against Sudhir Kumar. Shri Suman Kapoor, advocate, High Court Delhi, counsel for the accused, made an offer of compromise on September 27, 2003 to apologise unconditionally for the defamatory comments. In an application filed for the admission of the compromise, The Statesman stated that it had gone through the defamatory write-up. They also admitted that the allegations made by the accused against RSS are absolutely wrong and baseless and all the accused tender unconditional apology for the same. “In fact, the accused had no intention to insult or defame this esteemed and patriotic organisation i.e. the RSS and this publication was flashed in the column of our paper due to some misunderstanding.” On publication of the unconditional apology on the front page of The Statesman of Delhi and Kolkata, Siliguri, Bhubneshwar on 11 October 2003, the case was withdrawn on 14 October 2003 by the complainant.
2- A G Noorani On 15 January 2000, a daily, The Statesman, carried a story about the RSS by A G Noorani, which depicted the RSS as the killer of Gandhi. Subsequently the Delhi unit of the RSS filed a criminal case of defamation against author of the article A G Noorani along with the cartoonist and the Managing Director of the publishing house. When two of the accused did not respond to the Court summons, non-bailable warrants were issued in their name by the Court. On 25 February 2002, Noorani wrote an unconditional apology to the court in which he regretted writing the defamatory article against the RSS. On 3 March 2002, ‘The Statesman’ also published an apology regretting the publication of the said article
Full text of The Statesman’s Front paged apology on 11 Oct 2003: “An apology: In an editorial entitled “Double Standard – Not Illegal but Stupid” (The Statesman, 29-30 May 2000), we had described the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh as “the organisation that killed Gandhi”. This was incorrect, and unsupported by both facts and the record. We express regrets for the publication and apologise unconditionally for the anguish and mental torture caused to members of the organisation. This apology follows in the case “Darshan Lal Jain Vs CR Irani and others” in the court of Mr Atul Marya, Ld, Judicial Magistrate 1st class, Jagadhri (Haryana) in which the complainant was being represented by Mr Pardeep Garg, Advocate.”
by M D Deshpande