Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has filed a petition in the Bombay high court (HC) seeking quashing of the order of the Girgaum magistrate court, which has asked him to appear in person in a defamation complaint filed by a local politician, who has loyalties with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
, MumbaiHT Corresponent
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has filed a petition in the Bombay high court (HC) seeking quashing of the order of the Girgaum magistrate court, which has asked him to appear in person in a defamation complaint filed by a local politician, who has loyalties with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Gandhi has stated in his petition that the complainant is not directly affected by the alleged defamatory statement made by him (Gandhi) in 2018, and as he (complainant) is attempting to further his political aspirations by lodging the complaint, the order of magistrate should be set aside.
The single-judge bench of justice Sandeep Shinde, on Wednesday, while hearing Gandhi’s petition against the initiation of criminal proceedings on August 28, 2019, on the orders of the Girgaum magistrate, based on the defamation complaint filed by Mahesh Shrishrimal, was informed by advocate Kushal Mor that the complaint was vexatious, baseless, unmeritorious and misconceived. The petition states that the complaint is nothing but a vehicle to drive the complainant’s own political agenda to tarnish the public image of the petitioner.
According to the complaint, during a rally held in Rajasthan in September 2018, Gandhi had made a defamatory statement against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which had resulted in various news channels and social media platforms trolling the PM. The complaint also stated that Gandhi had purportedly posted a tweet and given a statement, wherein he referred to the PM as “commander in thief”, which was defamatory and made “direct allegation of theft against BJP members and Indian citizens connected to Modi.”
The petition states that he (Gandhi) became aware of the magistrate order after receiving a summon on July 12, this year. Terming the magistrate’s order as mechanical in nature and without any minimum reasoning required for the issuing process against the petitioner, Gandhi states that the complainant lacked locus standi (standing) to file the complaint, as a defamation complaint can only be initiated by the person defamed.
In light of the above, the petition states that the present case comes under the exceptions to section 499 (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), hence the magistrate order should be quashed and till the current petition was heard, all further proceedings arising out of the order before the magistrate court be stayed. The court will hear the petition on November 22.
Doonited Affiliated: Syndicate News Hunt