15 May 2023 4:43 PM GMT
In a defamation case filed against Congress leader and disqualified MP Rahul Gandhi for allegedly maligning BJP and its then-president leader Amit Shah by calling him a Murder Accused, the Complainant last week filed a counter affidavit in the matter before the Jharkhand High Court.In his counter-affidavit, Complainant-Navin Jha has stated that Shah had already been discharged by the...
In a defamation case filed against Congress leader and disqualified MP Rahul Gandhi for allegedly maligning BJP and its then-president leader Amit Shah by calling him a Murder Accused, the Complainant last week filed a counter affidavit in the matter before the Jharkhand High Court.
In his counter-affidavit, Complainant-Navin Jha has stated that Shah had already been discharged by the sessions court in the Murder case when Gandhi made the statement in March 2018 and since, he was no more an accused, therefore, Gandhi's statement was false and bogus.
The counter affidavit has been filed by Jha in the plea moved by Gandhi in December 2018 praying to set aside the criminal proceedings initiated against him by the magisterial court in Ranchi.
The criminal proceedings against Gandhi were initiated after Jha filed a criminal complaint against him for his (Gandhi's) alleged statement made in March 2018 that people will accept a man accused of murder as the President of the BJP (referring to the then BJP President Amit Shah), but they will never ever accept the same in the Congress Party, because they hold Congress in the highest regard.
"The petitioner (Gandhi) has the fundamental right of speech and expression, however, subject to reasonable restrictions...The speech made by the petitioner, which itself is admitted by him, goes to show that he does not have any respect for the fundamental right of any organization, body or group of people. The assertion made that Sri Amit Shah is a murder accused is absolutely false and bogus...It is an admitted fact that Sri Amit Shah has been discharged vide order dated 30.12.2014 by the learned Court of Sessions for Greater Bombay, passed in Sessions Case No. 177/2013 @ 178/2013 @ 577/2013 @ 312/2014, and therefore, Sri Amit Shah remains no more an accused, and therefore, the assertion made by the petitioner is absolutely false and bogus on the alleged date of occurrence i.e. on 18.3.2018," the affidavit states.
The counter affidavit was filed days after Jharkhand HC's bench of Justice Ambuj Nath granted a last chance to the complainant to file a counter.
Regarding his locus standi to maintain a criminal defamation complaint, Complainant has stated that whether he comes under the purview of an aggrieved person or not would be proved at the time of trial and the High Court is not the right forum but the appropriate stage is the trial court, which is a fact-finding court.
The complainant has stated that at the appropriate stage, he would show as to how legal injury has been caused to him by the statements of Gandhi.