Mumbai, January 17: A local court is Thane’s Bhiwandi district on Wednesday asked Congress president Rahul Gandhi to be present on April 23 as charges would be framed against him in the defamation case filed by a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh worker.

As Rahul was not present in the court today, his exemption application was allowed.

The case against Rahul was filed by a local RSS functionary, Rajesh Kunte, over the Congress leader’s speech at Bhiwandi in Thane district on March 6, 2014 in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls.

During the rally, Rahul allegedly said, “The RSS people had killed (Mahatma) Gandhi.”

He had said he was ready to face trial after the Supreme Court refused to interfere in the criminal proceedings at Bhiwandi court.