Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has approached the Bombay High Court seeking quashing of the summons issued to him by a local magistrate in a defamation complaint filed against him in 2019 by a BJP member.
Gandhi has also sought stay on the proceedings before the magistrate till the HC decides on the quashing of summons plea.
On August 28, 2019, the metropolitan magistrate court at Girgaon had initiated criminal proceedings against Gandhi and directed him to remain personally present in the court. The complaint was filed by one Mahesh Shrishrimal.
Gandhi’s plea before the HC states that he was not aware of the complaint before July 12, 2021, when he received the summons from the local court.
According to the complaint, Gandhi had allegedly made defamatory statements against Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a rally in Rajasthan in September 2018. Consequently the PM was allegedly trolled on social media platforms.
The complaint further claimed that four days later Gandhi allegedly commented on a video posted on social media and also reposted it on his personal twitter account with further alleged defamatory comment, which is a direct allegation against all members of the BJP and Indian citizens connected to Modi.
In his plea before the HC, filed through advocate Kushal Mor, Gandhi has said that the complaint was a “classic example” of a “frivolous and vexatious litigation” motivated by the sole purpose of furthering the complainant’s latent political agenda.
He has further contended that the summons was of a mechanical nature and did not contain any reasoning which is required for issuing process against a person.
Besides, challenging Shrishrimal’s locus to file the complaint, Gandhi’s plea states that defamation proceedings can be initiated only by the person who has been defamed.
The HC has kept the matter for hearing on November 22.
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