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Defamation Proceedings Against Shashi Tharoor


Defamation Proceedings Against Shashi Tharoor

BACKGROUND

  • Shashi Tharoor was held liable for defamation for making ‘scorpion on shivling’ remarks referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • Justice Suresh Kumar Kait issued notice and sought response of complainant, BJP leader Rajiv Babbar, on Tharoor's plea challenging the summons issued against him by the trial court in the defamation case.
  • The criminal complaint was filed against Tharoor in the trial court by Babbar, who had claimed that his religious sentiments were hurt by the Congress leader's statement.It had also described Tharoor’s statement as “intolerable abuse” and “absolute vilification” of the faith of millions of people. The complaint was filed under sections 499 (defamation) and 500 (punishment for defamation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
  • Tharoor had claimed that an unnamed RSS leader had allegedly compared Prime Minister Modi to "a scorpion sitting on a Shivling". He termed it an "extraordinarily striking metaphor". This had happened in October 2018.

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?

  • Shashi Tharoor went to the High Court because he was not satisfied with the trial court summoning over him in a defamation complaint.
  • The former Union minister had also sought quashing of the complaint, which described his statement as an ‘intolerable abuse’ and ‘absolute vilification’ of the faith of millions of people.

CURRENT SCENARIO

  • The Delhi high court on Friday, October 17, 2020 stayed criminal proceedings against Congress leader Shashi Tharoor in a defamation complaint over his alleged ‘scorpion on shivling’ remarks referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • Tharoor, represented through senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Vikas Pahwa, has sought setting aside of the trial court's April 27, 2019 order by which he was summoned as accused in the criminal defamation complaint.
  • Pahwa argued that the trial court’s order is bad in law and against the settled principles of criminal jurisprudence and it has completely overlooked the fact that the complaint filed by Babbar is completely false and frivolous.

DO YOU THINK THAROOR WAS LIABLE FOR DEFAMATION? MENTION YOUR VIEWS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW

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