Kolkata: A metropolitan court in Kolkata summoned BJP president Amit Shah on Wednesday in connection with a defamation case filed by chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and Trinamul Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee against whom he had levelled allegations of massive corruption during his rally on Mayo Road in the city on August 11.
Eighth metropolitan magistrate of the city sessions court has directed Mr Shah to appear before him in person on September 28. The summon was issued after Mr Banerjee appeared in person before the judge during the day and filed a written submission complaining that Mr Shah had made defamatory statements against him in speech at BJYM rally.
He was accompanied by two young Trinamul leaders: Soumya Bakshi and Swaroop Biswas as witnesses. Mr Banerjee’s lawyer Sanjoy Basu who filed the case said, “The chief metropolitan magistrate’ court has accepted our case which has been filed under section 500 (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code.” Mr Basu claimed that Mr Shah’s “false statements” caused grave loss and prejudice to his client’s reputation. While addressing ‘Yuva Swabhiman Samavesh Rally’ Mr Shah alleged that the funds released by the Centre over Rs 3.50 lakh crores to the West Bengal government ended up with Mr Banerjee and syndicates. He claimed, “The residents of the villages in Bengal, has the money reached your village? Prime Minister Modi had sent it. Where did Rs 3,59,000 crores go? This has been gifted to the nephew and the syndicate.”
Mr Basu argued that Mr Banerjee vehemently “denies the allegation that he is involved in any purported diversion of public and/or government funds to the tune of `3,59,000 crore or any other sum purportedly allotted from the Centre to the State of West Bengal.” On Tuesday Mr Banerjee told the Trinamul Youth Congress foundation day rally that he would not tolerate any malicious campaign at any cost. Referring to Mr Shah he also underlined that the BJP would concede defeat in court like it did in elections.
Soon after Mr Shah’s attack the Trinamul Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien had threatened to file the defamation suit against him and also declared to drag him to court if he would not tender an unconditional apology for his malicious comments against Mr Banerjee. The BJP however remained silent. On August 13 Mr Banerjee, the Diamond Harbour MP in South 24 Parganas, sent a legal notice to the BJP chief asking him to apologise for his slanderous remarks on him.
It stated, “In the course of your speech you had made various allegations against my client by making a flimsy and thinly veiled reference and/or insinuation to the ‘bhatija’ (nephew) of the Hon’ble chief minister of the State of West Bengal. Since, it is well known that my client is the nephew of Smt. Mamata Banerjee and is actively involved in politics, the contents of your speech left little to the imagination of my client’s well-wishers that you were referring to my client.” But no response came from Mr Shah.