Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has moved the Bombay High Court challenging an order of a Thane court taking certain additional documents as admitted evidence in the pending criminal defamation case filed against him by a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker [Rajesh Kunte v. Rahul Gandhi & Ors.].A Bhiwandi Magistrate Court in Thane had on June 3 taken on record certain documents submitted by Rajesh Kunte who is the complainant in the case against Gandhi.The Court had allowed as evidence the transcript of the alleged defamatory speech based on which the defamation case was filed.Gandhi challenged this in High Court by claiming that the Magistrate's order was in violation of an order of a single judge of the High Court in another petition filed by Kunte which concerned the same defamation complaint.In 2021, single judge Justice Revati Mohite Dere dismissed a petition filed by Kunte seeking admission or denial of the alleged defamatory speech made by Gandhi. Justice Dere had reasoned that an accused person could not be compelled to admit or deny annexures to the said petition..When Gandhi's present plea was taken up for hearing on Monday, single-judge Justice SV Kotwal reasoned that if a co-ordinate bench had already given its observations on the issue, it would be appropriate to let the same judge hear the present petition as well.“If you are saying this issue has already been covered by this High Court, it would be better if the same judge hears this petition. There are observations by the judge. Let that judge sit in review instead of me sitting in appeal,” the judge said. He, therefore, ordered that the matter be placed before the same judge who heard the matter earlier..Gandhi claimed in the present petition that despite the 2021 order of the High Court, the Magistrate proceeded to take on record the same documents which would compel Gandhi to either admit or deny the documents..The case arose in 2014 when Kunte accused Gandhi of making defamatory statements in a speech stating alleging that the Hindu organisation RSS was responsible for the assassination of the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi.Kunte filed a complaint before the Bhiwandi magistrate in 2014. The Magistrate took cognizance of the complaint and summoned Gandhi for an appearance before the court. This was challenged by Gandhi in High Court in 2014. He sought quashing of the criminal proceedings. In this petition, Gandhi annexed a transcript of the allegedly defamatory speech.Even though Gandhi's petition was dismissed by the High Court, Kunte contended before the magistrate that by annexing a copy of his speech in the petition, Gandhi unambiguously owned up to the speech.The Magistrate Court, however, rejected this application which Kunte challenged before the High Court.The High Court dismissed this petition in 2021 opining that merely because a document of Kunte was annexed to Gandhi’s petition, it would not make such a document a `public document’ thus giving a complete go-by to the Kunte from proving the same in accordance with law.On June 3, 2023, during Kunte’s examination by the court, the Magistrate took on record the same 2014 writ petition including the annexures despite vehement opposition from Gandhi.This has now been challenged by Gandhi before High Court. "The petitioner is aggrieved by the order dated June 3, 2023 passed by the 2nd Jt. Civil Judge, JD, JMFC, Bhiwandi marking the entire writ petition, i.e. criminal writ petition No. 1960 of 2014 along with its annexures and reading it into evidence in SCC No. 2425/2014 and hence is approaching this Court seeking to quash and set aside the same," the plea said.