Lok Sabha elections 2019: Sushil Modi files defamation case against Rahul over surname jibe
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Bihar’s deputy chief minister, Sushil Kumar Modi, filed a defamation case against Congress president, Rahul Gandhi, in the court of chief judicial magistrate (CJM), Patna, on Thursday for a “sweeping” comment that associated the surname Modi with wrongdoing.
Sushil Modi said his lawyer had filed a criminal complaint in the CJM’s court, under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code for the remark he made on April 13 at a public meeting in Kolar, Karnataka, which he said “hurt the sentiments of a large number of people sporting the Modi surname”.
Section 500. prescribes simple imprisonment for a term that may extend to two years, or fine, or both, for defamation.
In the speech, Gandhi has been quoted in the media as questioning why all thieves had the surname Modi, mentioning fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, former cricket administrator Lalit Modi, who , too, had flown abroad facing charges of financial irregularities, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whom he has accused of wrongdoing in the Rafale jet fighter deal, a charge the central government has repeatedly denied.
On Wednesday, PM Modi attacked Gandhi at a rally, accusing the Congress president of targeting him because he was from a backward community. “I have been abused many times by the Congress and its allies… but this time they branded the entire backward community as thieves,” PM Modi said.
The Bihar deputy chief minister urged the court to summon Rahul Gandhi to face trial, alleging that his election speech “ridiculed and lowered their [Modis’] reputation in the eyes of the public”. The Congress president is liable for prosecution and punishment, he said.
Party legislators, Sanjeev Chaurasia and Nitin Navin, were witnesses to the criminal complaint, in which Sushil Modi’s lawyer said the case was intended to restrain Gandhi from making sweeping statements that were defamatory in nature.
Sushil Modi said he expected the Election Commission to take notice of the case and initiate action. He also objected to Gandhi’s oft-repeated “chowkidar chor hai” (the watchman is the thief) jibe targeting the prime minister. Soon after Sushil Modi declared his intention to sue Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday, Rashtriya Janata Dal leader, Tejashwi Yadav, jumped into the fray, accusing the deputy CM of being a “Srijan chor”. It was a reference to an NGO, in whose accounts large amount of government funds have allegedly been fraudulently transferred.
“I am openly calling him a thief for stealing people’s mandate by propping up JD (U) government after it walked out of the grand alliance, and then siphoning off money in the Srijan scam. If he has the courage, he should file a case against me,” said Yadav.
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After the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) landslide victory, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in his Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi on a thanksgiving visit on Monday.He marked his visit by offering prayers at the Kashi Vishwanath temple before heading to address party workers.Modi won the Varanasi parliamentary seat by a margin 4,79,505 votes, defeating his nearest rival Shalini Yadav of the Samajwadi Party.Follow highlights here: