On Monday, the Supreme Court halted the proceedings in a criminal defamation case against Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav for allegedly saying 'sirf Gujarati hi thag ho sakte (only Gujaratis can be cheats). Haresh Mehta, vice-president of All India Anti-Corruption and Crime Preventive Council (Gujarat State), had filed a complaint against Yadav in April in a magistrate court in Ahmedabad under sections 499 (defamation) and 500 (punishment for defamation).
A bench comprising Justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal has requested the complainant's response following Yadav's plea to transfer the trial from Gujarat to a 'neutral location'. The complaint stemmed from the remark Yadav allegedly made during a press conference in on March 22.
What did Tejashwi Yadav say?
“Jo do thag hai naa, jo thag hai, thagi ko jo anumati hai, aaj ke desh ke halat mein dekha jayein toh sirf Gujarati hi thag ho sakte hai aur uske thag ko maaf kiya jaayega. LIC ka paisa, bank ka paisa de do, fir vo log leke bhaag jaayenge, toh kaun jimmedar hoga? (The two cheats who are there, they are allowed; if you look at the country's situation now, only Gujaratis can be cheats and their wrongdoings will be pardoned. They will be handed LIC’s money, banks’ money and they will abscond with it. Who will be held responsible?),” Yadav reportedly said at the press conference.
The criminal case against the RJD leader is pending before the magistrate court and the next hearing is scheduled for December 2.