Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): A district court in Madhya Pradesh has rejected a defamation case against Jammu & Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha for his alleged "defamatory" remarks on Mahatma Gandhi.
The defamation case was filed by a senior journalist, Rakesh Pathak, in June 2023. The special MP-MLA court of Gwalior district dismissed the charges against Sinha saying that the "complaint is not a family member or a close relative of Mahatma Gandhi".
The court further asserted that according to section 499 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), "Making any imputation against a deceased person amount to defamation if the imputation would be harmful to the reputation of that person if he were alive, and is intended to hurt the feelings of his family or near relatives."
Hearing the matter, the court said, "Dr. Rakesh Pathak is not a member of Mahatma Gandhi's family or is a close relative, hence he does not have the jurisdiction to file the complaint. Therefore, it is rejected under Section 203 of the Code of Criminal Procedure."
Notably, addressing the gathering at Ram Manohar Lohia Memorial Lecture at ITM University, in Gwalior on March 23, last year, Manoj Sinha had stated that, "Perhaps very few people know. And even many educated people in the country have this misconception that Gandhiji had a law degree, Gandhiji did not have any degree."
Subsequently, claiming that Sinha has made a fake statement against Mahatma Gandhi's degree, journalist Pathak, who is a Gandhian activist and also a resident of Gwalior, has issued a notice to the Lt. Governor and had demanded an apology from for his alleged fake statement on Gandhi in March last year. Having got no response from Sinha on this matter, Pathak had then filed a defamation case in June last year and had submitted the proof related with Gandhi's degree ranging from the primary education to his studies as a barrister from University College London.