Thursday, February 22, 2024

Crime-Justice

SC quashes defamation case against Tejashwi Yadav over remarks on Gujaratis

IANS | February 13, 2024 11:50 AM

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday quashed criminal defamation proceedings pending against former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav for his "only Gujaratis can be thugs" remark.

Last week, a bench presided over by Justice Abhay S. Oka reserved its verdict in the case taking note of the fact that a "specific" affidavit has been filed by Yadav unconditionally withdrawing his remarks.

Earlier, the top court had indicated that it will quash the criminal defamation suit pending against Yadav before a magistrate's court in Ahmedabad in exercise of extraordinary powers conferred under Article 142 of the Constitution.

It had observed that Yadav’s prosecution was no longer necessary since he had filed an affidavit stating that his remark was not intended to offend Gujarati people or any community of a particular state.

In November 2023, the Supreme Court had stayed the trial proceedings after Tejashwi Yadav sought a transfer of criminal defamation case from Gujarat to Bihar.

The complaint goes back to Tejashwi Yadav's alleged remarks made in March last year in Patna. It has been alleged that Yadav said that "in today's time, only Gujaratis can be thugs and they will also be forgiven for the same".

The purported remarks were made by him in reference to the revocation of the red corner notice for fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi, a key accused in the Punjab National Bank scam, and purportedly aimed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

In his complaint, Mehta, a social worker and Vice President of an organisation called the All-India Anti-Corruption and Crime Preventive Council, alleged that the remarks defame and humiliate Gujaratis in public.

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