Nirupam moves court against summons in defamation case

    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam Tuesday moved the Delhi High Court seeking quashing of the summons issued by a trial court on a defamation suit filed against him by TV actress-turned-BJP MP Smriti Irani for using “indecent language” during a television debate.

    He also sought quashing of Irani’s complaint and stay on the proceedings going on in the trial court.

    While discussing the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly elections on a TV channel, Nirupam mocked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Rajya Sabha member as a former dancer who had entered politics only some years ago.

    Filing the plea, Nirupam challenged the summons issued March 11, saying: “The magistrate without application of mind and contrary to law came to take cognizance on the said material to issue summons. The petitioner humbly submits that the very cognizance is bad in law.”

    On Jan 8, the trial court had taken cognizance of the criminal defamation complaint filed by Irani against Nirupam for allegedly using “derogatory and indecent language”.

    In his plea, the Congress leader contended that the magistrate “has erred in law to conclude defamation, ignoring that there was no material before him to conclude that the attributed utterance or sentence have lowered the estimation of the complainant (Irani) in the eyes of any person”.

    “The only witness who deposed made vague statements and did not give any positive evidence to constitute defamation,” he said.

    “The debate was at the spur of moment and petitioner could not have harboured the intention to outrage the modesty, as concluded by the magistrate without considering the attendant circumstances even if the allegations are considered true while denying the same. If a person innocently causes harm, then she or he lacks mens rea (guilty intention),” the plea said.