Mumbai: A defamation suit was filed in the Bombay High Court by Minister of State (MoS) Ravindra Waikar against Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam, for making ‘baseless and false’ allegations against the Shiv Sena leader. In his suit, Waikar has sought damages to the tune of Rs 25 crore.
The suit was filed by Waikar after the Lokayukta gave him a clean chit in the land grabbing case, as alleged by Nirupam. The MoS for Higher and Technical Education – Waikar has claimed Nirupam’s statements to the media has resulted in defamation and has brought disrepute to him.
In his suit, Waikar has highlighted Nirupam’s past wherein he claims that the Mumbai Congress chief is habitual to make baseless allegations. The suit reads, “The Defendant (Nirupam) was also a member of the Shiv Sena party and was known to me. He is clearly aware about my reputation and prestige in the eyes of the people of Maharashtra and is also aware of the dedication and hard work put in by me to achieve such positions and receive such accolades and maintain such an unblemished track record.”
“While being a member of parliament from the Shiv Sena party – Nirupam made some baseless allegations against other political leaders which were false and devoid of facts. It was due to such habitual nature of making baseless allegations, he had to leave the Shiv Sena Party after which, he immediately joined the arch rival Indian National Congress,” the suit reads. Referring to his stay in London in 2016, Waikar who had then undergone an angioplasty, claims Nirupam had called a press conference wherein defamatory remarks were made against him.
The suit reads, “In a press conference, Nirupam had told the press reporters that I (Waikar) grabbed 20 acres land in Aarey Colony on the pretext of building a gymnasium for tribal’s living there. He also claimed that the Shiv Samarth Shikshan Prasarak Sanstha, which operates the gymnasium, was run by my wife and relatives, and that it was not registered with the Public Trust Registration Office and had not been audited for three years.”
Highlighting the “stress” suffered by him, Waikar claims that he had to take complete bed rest since he was tensed after hearing the allegations. Accordingly, he has sought direction to Nirupam to cough up Rs. 25 crore as damages. He has also prayed for restraining Nirupam from making such defamatory allegations.4