A local court here on Thursday issued process (summons) to Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on a defamation complaint filed by BJP leader Kirit Somaiya's wife Medha Somaiya.
The Sewri metropolitan magistrate's court has directed Raut to appear before it on July 4.
The issuance of a process marks the beginning of criminal proceedings before a metropolitan or judicial magistrate based on a complaint lodged by an individual. Once the process is issued, the accused person has to appear before the court.
Somaiya, in her complaint, has claimed that Raut had made baseless and completely defamatory allegations against her and her husband, accusing them of being involved in a scam worth Rs 100 crore over the construction and maintenance of some public toilets under the jurisdiction of the Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation.
"The statements made by the accused to the media are per se defamatory. The statements have been made to malign my character in the eyes of the general public," the complaint stated.
Somaiya urged the court to issue process or a notice to Raut and begin proceedings against him on the charges of defamation as defined under sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code.